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Florida TaxWatch In The News

M-CORES hits dead end, repeal sent to Governor’s desk

 

Statewide Coverage. Statewide Impact.

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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Winners and losers emerging from the 2021 Legislative Session (May 2, 2021)
Florida Politics
Florida TaxWatch — It’s safe to say the nonpartisan watchdog is a winner. Several of their long-standing priorities got top billing this year, including e-fairness.

It's over. Who won? Who lost? A look back at the 2021 Florida legislative session (April 30, 2021)
TCPalm
Environmental Spending: A Florida TaxWatch study conducted this summer claimed COVID-19 litigation could cost Florida’s economy $16.1 billion and 208,000 jobs.

Also published in:
News-Press
Tallahassee Democrat
Northwest Florida Daily News
Palm Beach Post
Sarasota Herald-Tribune 
Ocala Star-Banner
St. Augustine Record
Pensacola News Journal
Daily Commercial
Florida Times-Union
News Herald 
Florida Today
Walton Sun
Ledger Online
Palm Beach Daily News
News Chief
Naples Daily News (Newspaper)
News-Press (Newspaper)
Pensacola News Journal (Newspaper)
Tallahassee Democrat (Newspaper)
Northwest Florida Daily News (Newspaper)
Naples Daily News
Daily Commercial (Newspaper)
Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Newspaper)
Florida Times-Union (Newspaper)
Stuart News (Newspaper)

Florida TaxWatch Looks at State COVID-19 Restrictions and Economic Recovery (April 30, 2021)
Florida Daily
On Friday,  Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released “Economic Commentary: State COVID-19 Restrictions & the Road Back to Economic Normal,” which offers a cursory overview of the relationship between states’ COVID-19 restrictions and their respective economic recoveries.

RECOGNIZING FLORIDA'S BEST PRINCIPALS (April 24, 2021)
Putnam County School District
Bryan Helms, Interlachen High School’s Principal, has been selected for the 2021 Principal Leadership Awards. He was one of only three high school principals selected throughout the state for the award.


When they said 'Stand up and be counted,' Florida sat down and lost an opportunity. Why? / Many of us did not count (April 29, 2021)
Daytona Beach News Journal
Why ignore the pleas of good-government, pro-business groups like Florida TaxWatch, who pleaded with the governor to rev up the count?

Also published in:
Florida Times-Union (Newspaper)
Northwest Florida Daily News (Newspaper)
News-Herald (Newspaper)
St. Augustine Record

Toll Road Repeal Headed To DeSantis / Florida Toll Road Projects Are Scrapped, Including Suncoast Parkway Extension / Florida Legislature puts kibosh on massive toll road expansion plan (April 27, 2021)
News Service of Florida
“Those voices are very different voices from around the state,” Diamond said. “Many people from our small towns, from our ag community, many people from our environmental community, worked through the process that we set forward in our legislation --- these M-CORES task force meetings --- to express their concerns with the project. And I think we've all read the TaxWatch report and realized how much money we would have committed to future legislators on this project.”

Also published in:
Citrus County Chronicle
WUSF
WFIT (Space Coast)
Orlando Weekly
Florida Times-Union (Newspaper)


Senate tees up amended data privacy bill (April 28, 2021)
Florida Politics
Speaking at a committee stop in April, Brewster Bevis of Associated Industries of Florida said a Florida TaxWatch report showed the bill could cost Florida businesses $36 billion.

M-CORES hits dead end, repeal sent to Governor’s desk (April 28, 2021)
The Capitolist
The repeal of M-CORES was called for by Florida TaxWatch, several environmental groups and local county representatives.
Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro called the M-CORES project an “unnecessary gamble that could cost Florida and its taxpayers dearly.”

OMS student awarded two-year scholarship (April 28, 2021)
Lake Okeechobee News
 In a ceremony on April 27, Osceola Middle School principal Sean Downing was recognized by Florida TaxWatch with a Principal Leadership Award for outstanding sustaining improvement in student performance. Victoria (Osceola Middle School student) was presented with a certificate from Florida Tax Watch at the end of the ceremony, which was held in the OMS gym and attended by her classmates, Florida TaxWatch senior vice president of research Bob Nave, and Okeechobee superintendent of schools Ken Kenworthy.



Democrats feign surprise, outrage at DeSantis being DeSantis (April 21, 2021)
Tallahassee Democrat
Lobbying forces like Florida TaxWatch and the Florida Retail Federation, hardly hotbeds of tax-and-spend liberalism, had been urging legislators to start enforcing the sales tax on “remote” purchases ever since the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way three years ago.

Also published in:
The Ledger
Northwest Florida Daily News (Newspaper)
The News Herald (Newspaper)
Pensacola News Journal (Newspaper)
The News-Press (Newspaper)
Naples Daily News (Newspaper)
The Daily Commercial (Newspaper)
Stuart News (Newspaper)
The Destin Log (Newspaper)
Walton Sun (Newspaper)
Pensacola News Journal (Newspaper)

Florida TaxWatch Looks at How Small Businesses Have Done During the Pandemic (April 22, 2021)
Florida Daily
Florida TaxWatch announced that Friday marks the 2021 Florida Taxpayer Independence Day.
On Thursday, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released “The Backbone of the Economy: How Small Businesses in Florida Have Fared During the Pandemic.”

Basically, everyone in Florida is united against these new highways (April 22, 2021)
Grist
The conservative think tank Florida TaxWatch released an analysis in 2020 of the Suncoast Connector section of M-CORES, a 150-mile stretch running from Citrus County to Jefferson County at the Georgia border. It wasn’t flattering

Biz Groups React To New Online Sales Tax Law (April 21, 2021)
WFSU
"It will now make people law-abiding citizens. It allows the state in the very first year to collect over a billion dollars that previously has been lawfully owed and uncollected and subject to penalties on a lot of unsuspecting Floridians," Calabro says.
Calabro hopes that once the unemployment trust fund is replenished and the commercial rent tax is cut, the money made from online sales taxes will go towards funding education.

What you should know about Florida’s new online sales tax law (April 20, 2021)
South Florida Sun Sentinel (Newspaper/Online)
Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic Calabro called the enactment “major tax reform and modernization that will keep sales and use taxes the preferred method of taxation in Florida for another generation.”

Also published in:
Miami Herald
Bradenton Herald 
The Tribune (San Luis Obispo, CA)
Bellingham Herald
Tri-City Herald
The Fresno Bee
The News Tribune (Tacoma, WA)
Merced Sun-Star
The Modesto Bee
Idaho Statesman
Lexington Herald-Leader
SunHerald (Biloxi, MS)
Belleville News-Democrat
The State (Colombia, SC)
Sun News (Myrtle Beach, SC)
The Island Packet (Hilton Head, SC)
News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
The Telegraph (Macon, GA)
The Olympian 
Kansas City Star
Yahoo News
Orlando Sentinel (Newspaper)


Florida TaxWatch: Newspapers vital to transparent government (April 21, 2021)
Florida Today
As a nonpartisan government watchdog and taxpayer-research institute that focuses on promoting government accountability and transparency, Florida TaxWatch supports the use of public notices in local newspapers of record by government entities to notify all of their citizens of meetings and votes.

Broward Schools Superintendent Arrested On Perjury Charge  (April 21, 2021)
The Daily Wire
According to Florida TaxWatch, in the first four years of the SMART bond’s existence, the district only spent 5% of the money on safety projects, which was far below what the district was claiming to be spending.

With clock running out, Florida’s Police union praises additional funding, urges lawmakers to renew critical contract (April 21, 2021)
The Capitolist
The comments come on the heels of a report released last week by TaxWatch that also urged lawmakers to renew the contract with the current vendor, which would provide the greatest continuity and reduce the chances of a major problem hindering first responders in what TaxWatch called the most important mission of state government, public safety, especially during the summer storm season.

Senate accepts House plan to put VISIT FLORIDA on non-recurring funding (April 21, 2021)
Florida Politics
And Florida TaxWatch — the state’s best-known watchdog calling out wasteful spending in Tallahassee — came to VISIT FLORIDA’s defense, saying continued funding supports as many as 1.4 million Florida jobs and $8 billion and state and local tax revenue.


DeSantis draws laudatory sighs after signing online tax bill as deadline neared (April 21, 2021)
The Center Square
Florida TaxWatch (FTW) President/CEO Dominic Calabro called SB 50 a “Taxpayer Penalty Relief Endeavor” and said the “revenue neutral” changes would alleviate COVID-19 impacts on businesses.
“The combination of each of these provisions will certainly have significant and lasting benefits on Florida’s fiscal landscape, leading to a more prosperous future for all,” he said.

Also published in:
Fernandina Observer

Democrats feign surprise, outrage at DeSantis being DeSantis (April 21, 2021)
Tallahassee Democrat
Lobbying forces like Florida TaxWatch and the Florida Retail Federation, hardly hotbeds of tax-and-spend liberalism, had been urging legislators to start enforcing the sales tax on “remote” purchases ever since the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way three years ago.

What you should know about Florida’s new online sales tax law (April 20, 2021)
South Florida Sun Sentinel
Business groups, including Florida TaxWatch and Florida Retail Federation, have been urging the state to enact the law since 2018. Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic Calabro called the enactment “major tax reform and modernization that will keep sales and use taxes the preferred method of taxation in Florida for another generation.”

Gov. DeSantis signs online sales tax plan (April 20, 2021) 
Florida Politics
As a nonpartisan government watchdog and taxpayer-research institute that focuses on promoting government accountability and transparency, Florida TaxWatch supports the use of public notices in local newspapers of record by government entities to notify all of their citizens of meetings and votes.

Late Monday night DeSantis signs bill requiring the collection of sales tax on on-line purchases into law (April 20, 2021)
The Capitolist
Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed the online sales tax bill into law, answering the question of whether he would act on the bill or let it roll into law without his John Hancock. The Florida Chamber of Commerce lauded the measure, as did Florida TaxWatch and the Florida League of Cities.

Florida Legislature backtracks on massive toll roads plan, is set to scrap much of it/Florida's controversial toll road projects are on the verge of being repealed (April 15-16, 2021)
Miami Herald
The ability to pay for the projects was a concern from the start and a reason why previous governors, including former Gov. Jeb Bush, abandoned proposals for a Heartland Parkway. Last year, the conservative think tank Florida TaxWatch called the Suncoast stretch a “risky project” with “little demonstrated transportation need.”

Also published in:
Bradenton Herald 
Tampa Bay Times (Newspaper/Online)

Takeaways from Tallahassee – Safety First (April 17, 2021)
Florida Politics
One of the bills (SB 2510) sent over on Tuesday would push back the sunset date for a $3 surcharge on traffic tickets that’s used to fund the Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System, also known as SLERS. The drama has led some watchdog, such as Florida TaxWatch, to call for a complete overhaul of the state’s procurement process.

 
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