Florida CFO Floats Bill Prohibiting Political Discrimination by Collectors

The Chief Financial Officer for the state of Florida wants the state legislature to enact a law that would revoke the licenses of debt collectors that are hired by the Internal Revenue Service and target Floridians for collections based on their political beliefs.

What’s Happening: Patronis has released draft legislation that would establish anti-discrimination provisions on debt collectors licensed by the state of Florida. Any collector that “wrongly discriminates” against a Floridian based on his or her political affiliation, ideology, viewpoint, or conduct will have their licenses revoked, if the bill becomes law.

  • The bill adds a provision to the list of prohibited practices in the state, that prohibits discrimination or targeting any debtor on the basis of his or her political affiliation, ideology, viewpoint, or conduct.

Why: The measure is in response to claims from conservatives that the IRS, which recently received funding to hire an additional 80,000 employees, is targeting Republicans and enemies of the Biden Administration. Patronis’s proposal is an attempt to fight back against that alleged targeting.

  • The state legislature is in recess until it begins its next legislative session, in March 2023. That is the earliest that it could take up the proposed legislation.

More Backstory: You may remember Patronis for sending a letter to Rohit Chopra, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, asking the agency to reevaluate some of the communication provisions of Regulation F.

The Last Word: “This will provide a strong deterrence mechanism against discrimination and targeting by IRS vendors and make bad actors think twice about doing the bidding of crooked tax agents,” Patronis said in a statement.

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