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November 2020 News Highlights

 

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Is Florida’s Massive Toll Road Project Destined to Crash? | Editorial
 (November 29, 2020)
Tampa Bay Times
A Florida TaxWatch analysis already questioned how the proposed 150-mile Suncoast extension could attract enough drivers given the minimal traffic in the mostly rural corridor. The pro-business non-profit group, which advocates smaller government, called the extension “a risky project with what is sure to be a large price tag and little demonstrated transportation need.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

‘Willy-Nilly’ Spending: Critics Slam Plan to Use Taxpayer Money to Back Black Lives Matter and Charities (November 21, 2020)
South Florida Sun Sentinel
Government-watchdog groups say it’s not the place of government to use tax dollars to fund political advocacy groups, or charities, of their choice. The county instead should give residents back their money, something the public likely would appreciate much more in these tough financial times, said Dominic Calabro, the CEO of Florida TaxWatch, a nonprofit government watchdog group.

PERSONNEL FILE --- PEOPLE ON THE MOVE, NOVEMBER 20, 2020 (November 20, 2020)
News Service of Florida
GEORGE LEMIEUX has been named chairman of Florida TaxWatch. LeMieux, a former U.S. senator, is chairman of the board of the Gunster law firm.

State Employees Honored for Saving Taxpayers Money (November 19, 2020)
Capitol News Service
The hard work of some hard-working state employees saved Floridians 300 million tax dollars this year according to that state’s lead tax watch dog.
Florida TaxWatch honored some of those state employees in a virtual award ceremony Thursday.
There were 179 TaxWatch Productivity Awards handed out this year spanning 19 state agencies and four universities.

Florida TaxWatch Awards State Agencies For Innovations That Save Taxpayers Money (November 19, 2020)
WFSU
The nonprofit Florida TaxWatch is recognizing state agencies for innovative programs and technologies that also saved taxpayers money and provided a lifeline for some during the pandemic.

Also published by:
WJCT
WUSF
WLRN

ON TAP IN THE CAPITAL: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2020 (November 18, 2020)
News Service Florida
TAXWATCH HONORS STATE EMPLOYEES: Florida TaxWatch will hold an online news conference to announce winners of this year's TaxWatch Productivity awards. The awards are presented each year to state employees who improve services, increase efficiency, and save tax dollars.

George LeMieux Takes Over as Chairman of Florida TaxWatch Board of Trustees (November 18, 2020)
Florida Daily
Florida TaxWatch (FTW) announced that former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, R-Fla., will take over as its chairman of the Board in 2021. LeMieux takes over from former state Sen. Pat Neal. “In the historic and unprecedented times we find ourselves in today, the hard work, oversight, and data-driven research of Florida TaxWatch has never been more important. I am truly honored to serve as Chairman of this respected and valuable non-partisan research institution and look forward to continuing our critical work with Florida’s government and business leaders to ensure a strong future for our state and its taxpayers,” LeMieux said on Wednesday."

Despite Economic Anxiety, Florida Voters Approve $400m in Tax Increases (November 18, 2020)
The Center Square Florida
Florida voters in 19 counties approved $400 million in local sales and property tax increases and $250 million in bond issues on Election Day, according to a post-election breakdown by Florida TaxWatch (FTW).

Florida TaxWatch Says Voters Approved $400 Million in New Taxes (November 17, 2020) 
WMBB
This year Florida voters went to the polls in record numbers and most of them agreed on one thing: They want higher taxes that will pay for certain services.
Voters approved $400 million in local tax increases and $250 million in bonds.
“With rare exceptions even during this great pandemic a lot of the voters and taxpayers voted for tax increases,” said Dominic Calabro, the president and CEO of Florida Taxwatch.

Also published by:
Florida Daily
Southwest Florida Business Today
The Capitolist

Florida TaxWatch: Voters Across the Sunshine State Approved $400 Million in Local Tax Increases (November 17, 2020)
Florida Daily
This week, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released a look at local tax referenda that voters across the state decided on in this year’s election. Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic Calabro weighed in on the findings. “In years past we have seen taxpayers show a willingness to approve taxes they feel will provide a meaningful return and 2020 was no exception."

Florida TaxWatch: Voters Approved $400 Million in Local Tax Increases (November 16, 2020)
The Capitolist
Florida voters passed massive tax increases at the local level, according to a new report released by Florida TaxWatch (FTW) on Monday.
The briefing by the nonpartisan watchdog group, which examined the outcomes of local referenda considered by the voters on the 2020 general election ballot, found that Florida counties again voted to raise their taxes after increases in 2018.

Florida TaxWatch: Voters Approved $400 Million in Local Tax Increases (November 16, 2020)
Southwest Florida Business Today
Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released its latest briefing, Local Tax Referenda on the November 2020 Ballot: What Passed? providing commentary on the outcomes of local referenda considered by the voters on the 2020 general election ballot.

Florida Taxwatch Calls for Reforms to State’s Unemployment System (November 16, 2020)
WDBO
A state taxpayer watchdog group is out with an independent analysis of how the state of Florida administers federal safety net programs.
Florida TaxWatch’s new report, The Aftermath of COVID-19: Rethinking How the State Delivers Services to Floridians In Need, identifies several inefficiencies within Florida’s Reemployment Assistance program known as CONNECT.

What’s Next for Florida’s Controversial Toll Road Projects? Here Are Three Ways They Could Be Stopped. (November 16, 2020)
Tampa Bay Times
Florida TaxWatch, a nonprofit that advocates for smaller government, estimated that the Suncoast Parkway extension alone would cost between $4 billion and $10.5 billion.

Also published by: 
Miami Herald
Bradenton Herald

Florida TaxWatch Report Makes Recommendations for Florida Safety Net Programs (November 12, 2020)
The Capitolist
Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released a report today which offered its recommendations for improving Florida’s delivery of federal safety net programs to Floridians in need. In particular, the report The Aftermath of COVID-19: Rethinking How the State Delivers Services to Floridians In Need,  singles out what FTW identifies as shortcomings in the embattled state-administered Florida’s Reemployment Assistance (unemployment insurance) program known as CONNECT.

Florida TaxWatch: Time to Reform Federal Assistance Program Administration (November 12, 2020) 
Florida Daily
On Thursday, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released “The Aftermath of COVID-19: Rethinking How the State Delivers Services to Floridians In Need,” an analysis of the shortcomings of the current state-administered, federal safety net pro­grams, especially Florida’s Reemployment Assistance (Unemployment Insurance) program known as CONNECT.

New Report Suggests Less College Football Could Kill 50,000 Florida Jobs (November 6, 2020) 
WJHG/WECP
A new report from Florida TaxWatch says the pandemic hampered college football season paints a bleak picture for the economy. College football games generate billions for local economies and over $141 million in state and local tax revenue each year in Florida. Florida TaxWatch Vice President Kyle Baltuch estimates the limited crowd and tailgating restrictions for the Florida Georgia game this weekend could reduce local revenues by about $10 million compared to previous years.

Originally published by Capitol News Service

New Report Suggests Less College Football Could Kill 50,000 Florida Jobs (November 6, 2020)
WCJB
A new report from Florida TaxWatch says the pandemic hampered college football season paints a bleak picture for the economy. College football games generate billions for local economies and over $141 million in state and local tax revenue each year in Florida.

College Football in the COVID-19 Era: The Economic Impact of a Restricted Season (November 6, 2020)
Florida Trend
Every year, the arrival of cooler temperatures signals the beginning of an important season to many Floridians: college football season. Yet unlike previous years, this football season is shaping up to be unmatched in history. Stadiums that once filled with fans now lie mostly dormant as capacity limits and social distancing measures have become the norm. More from Florida TaxWatch.

Also featured in Florida Trend's Friday Afternoon Update

Florida TaxWatch Looks at How COVID-19‘s Impact on College Football Hinders the Economy (November 5, 2020)
Florida Daily
With the Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs getting ready to renew their rivalry in Jacksonville on Saturday, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released a report on how COVID-19 restrictions on college football are impacting the Sunshine State’s economy.


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November 19, 2020 News at 11 video HERE.
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