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Florida TaxWatch News Clips (July 15 -31)

Florida TaxWatch is constantly looking to spread the word about our research, recommendations, and programs, all in pursuit of serving each and every taxpayer in Florida. Below is just a selection of where we've popped up in the last few weeks!

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EDITORIAL | Time for fairness on sales tax (July 29, 2020)
Daytona Beach News Journal
One of the biggest changes is long overdue. Florida needs to start collecting sales tax on Internet purchases. The tax is owed — and increasingly, bigger retailers are collecting it and remitting it to the state — but Florida still loses between $420 million and $700 million a year in levied taxes from merchants that don’t collect the tax. It certainly doesn’t have to be that way. Florida is one of only two states in the nation without a robust internet sales-tax collection effort.

This story was republished in:
St. Augustine Record
Winter Haven News Chief
Lakeland Ledger


Florida TaxWatch Looks at the Best Practices of Successful K-12 Principals (July 29, 2020)
Florida Daily
On Tuesday, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) unveiled a report looking at the best practices of some of the most successful K-12 public school principals across the state.
FTW released its Education Leadership Roundtable Summary Report which includes key strategies for success shared during a recent FTW Education Roundtable Discussion, along with supporting research and key takeaways.


A tax watchdog questions feasibility of Florida toll road plan (July 29, 2020)
The Bond Buyer
Florida TaxWatch generally supports state investments in transportation infrastructure “but there is legitimate concern about the financial prudence of the investment in the Suncoast Connector as a bond-financed toll road,” President Dominic Calabro and Kurt Wenner, vice president of research, said in a joint statement to The Bond Buyer.


Tuesday's Daily Pulse (July 21, 2020)
Florida Trend
Two government watchdog groups are urging fiscal oversight and more financial details for a proposed 150-mile toll road between Citrus and Jefferson counties, one of three projects to expand the state's toll road system and stimulate the economy in rural areas. Florida TaxWatch and 1000 Friends of Florida released their recommendations Monday, a day before the task force for the Suncoast Connector is set to meet.
 

Florida TaxWatch Issues Report on Suncoast Connector (July 21, 2020)
Florida Daily
FTW unveiled “Suncoast Connector: What We Still Need to Know” which looks at the road which will be “one of three toll roads commissioned through the Multi-Use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) program which was established through legislation passed and signed into law in 2019.” The report looks at “the potential costs and long-term financial challenges of constructing the Suncoast Connector portion of the M-CORES program.”
 

New Report Questions Cost Of Suncoast Parkway Extension (July 20, 2020)
WUSF News
Florida Tax Watch says extending the Suncoast Parkway from Citrus County to the Georgia border would cost anywhere between $4 billion and $10.5 billion.  
To come up with a cost estimate for the Suncoast Parkway extension, Florida Tax Watch looked at earlier toll road projects. Toll road construction in Florida is financed mostly through bonds, which are paid off with toll revenue. The group says the price tag will likely end up at the higher end of the estimate.  
 

Watchdog groups raise financial concerns over Suncoast toll road (July 20, 2020)
Tallahassee Democrat
Two government watchdog groups are urging fiscal oversight and more financial details for a proposed 150-mile toll road between Citrus and Jefferson counties, one of three projects to expand the state's toll road system and stimulate the economy in rural areas.
Florida TaxWatch and 1000 Friends of Florida released their recommendations Monday, a day before the task force for the Suncoast Connector is set to meet.
 

This story was republished in:
Palm Beach Post
Ocala Star-Banner
News Chief
Washington County Times
Crestview News Bulletin
The Star
The Walton Sun
The Ledger
Gainesville Sun
Daytona Beach News-Journal
St. Augustine Record
The Destin Log
Northwest Florida Daily News
Panama City News Herald
Daily Commercial


Don’t make the Census go looking for you | OUR VIEW (July 16, 2020)
Daytona Beach News Journal
This data-gathering is not an academic exercise. It has major real-world effects ranging from roadbuilding to school funding. More than 130 federal programs use Census data to determine funding, according to a Florida TaxWatch study. The data also goes far in determining an area’s political clout.

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