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Joe Redner: "I think I should pay more taxes"

6:21 PM, Dec 18, 2011   |    comments
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Joe Redner


TAMPA, Fla. -- Joe Redner's the man behind a lot of Tampa businesses - perhaps none more famous than the Mons Venus strip club.

"They undertax the rich and I'm one of them," he says. "I'm one of the one percent and I think I should pay more taxes. They use the excuse that there won't be jobs if we tax the rich. The money that I leave in my business they don't tax."

That's why he's lending a hand, and the park he owns in West Tampa, to the Occupy movement.

"They're feeding people in the park. I just love that to death that they're helping people," Redner said on Saturday.

On Saturday, Occupy Tampa set up for the first time in Voice of Freedom Park, offering food and clothing donations to the surrounding neighborhood in collaboration with Food Not Bombs.

"It's all of us who didn't know each other two months ago, so it's really exciting to think about the possibility that this could happen anywhere," said David Morris, who works with Occupy Tampa's media team.

Jonathan Skinner first joined the Occupy movement in Dallas, then headed to Austin, New Orleans, Gainesville and, finally, Tampa. He sees Occupy Tampa as a solid movement that, especially in the wake of dozens of arrests over the last two months, has lacked a true public space to spread its message. 

"The fact is they don't have a park," Skinner says. "Their resilience here is amazing."

That's why even though Voice of Freedom Park isn't truly being occupied - it's more of a community gathering space for the movement - it still helps Occupy Tampa greatly. They can use it to help the community while figuring out what direction their movement goes next.

"Now we're kind of at the stage where we have to really buckle down, decide what we're about, and start accomplishing things," Morris says.

And they're happy to have Redner's support behind them.

"What we need to do is get this country on the right footing by taxing the people that can afford to pay the tax and helping the people that don't have the jobs," Redner says.

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