By WILLIAM M. HARTNETT
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
It has been ridiculed from its inception, and the improbable industry it was born to nurture never caught on, yet Florida’s sales-tax exemption for ostrich feed endures.
Created in 1992 – when it was not uncommon to sincerely believe that the meat of large, flightless birds would find a place on America’s dinner plate – the tax break was the same as that enjoyed by cattle or chicken farmers.
Then-Gov. Lawton Chiles called ostrich ranching “an emerging new industry.”
The intervening years have not been kind to the ostrich industry. But the tax exemption has survived not just ceaseless mocking by editorial writers and politicians, but repeated legislative attempts to repeal it.