It's hard to say "no" to a cop, but that's pretty much our answer to the Fraternal Order of Police in Florida, which believes that law enforcement in and around Orlando would benefit from a slice of the hotel and travel taxes paid by tourists.

Unquestionably the recent uptick in reported crime in and around hotels and restaurants in the Orlando area is a cause of concern, but we reject the idea that travel-related taxes ought to be, as the Orlando Sentinel quoted one police union official, "a revenue source to help fund public safety."

Contrary to what the police are implying, travelers aren't getting a free ride. In Florida and elsewhere, visitors pay the same sales taxes for goods, services and restaurant food as local residents, and every business they patronize pays property, income, employment and other taxes to state and local governments.

If travel-related taxes are earmarked by law for specific travel-related purposes, they should stay that way.
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