The Florida Census Institute

Florida’s Labor Market Continues Cooling Down at a Slow Rate

/ Categories: Research, Blog

This Florida TaxWatch blog examines labor market changes amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with a focus on the U.S. and Florida. It notes a national slowdown in job openings, with a stable 3.7% unemployment rate, contrasting with Florida's lower 2.9% rate and job gains in most sectors. The data suggests a cooling labor market, but not enough to significantly impact inflation. Despite Federal Reserve efforts to slow the economy, there are still more jobs than unemployed persons nationally. Experts no longer anticipate a recession, but inflation concerns persist, especially if the Federal Reserve changes interest rates.

The Impact of Unlicensed Vacation Rentals on Florida's Economy

/ Categories: Research

"Unlicensed Vacation Rentals: An Analysis of Florida's Tourism-Driven Economy" provides an in-depth analysis of the unlicensed vacation rental market in Florida. It highlights the significant impact these rentals have on the state's tourism economy, including issues of tax evasion, safety concerns, and unfair competitive advantages over licensed properties. The research reveals a notable prevalence of unlicensed rentals in Florida, which, in 2022, constituted a significant proportion of the state’s temporary public lodging units. The study brings to light how operators of these unlicensed rentals often circumvent tax obligations, thus negatively impacting the state's revenue and creating an unlevel playing field in the tourism sector. This paper includes recommendations for stricter enforcement of licensing regulations, improved transparency in rental operations, and more efficient tax collection mechanisms to address these challenges. The paper serves as a critical resource for policymakers, business owners in the tourism sector, and tax authorities, providing essential insights to inform decisions and strategies aimed at ensuring a fair and regulated tourism industry in Florida.

It's Time to Reform Florida's Information Technology Procurement and Oversight

/ Categories: Research, Releases

This report highlights the chronic issues plaguing Florida's large-scale IT projects, such as inadequate planning, contracting, and management. These issues have led to the repeated formation and dissolution of a state agency overseeing these projects, with the most recent being the Florida Digital Service (FL[DS]) established in 2020. The paper provides a series of recommendations to prevent the failure of FL[DS]. These include forming a joint House and Senate IT committee for oversight, adopting a new governance model, standardizing statewide agency business processes, and revising Florida Statutes for better IT project procurement and vendor evaluation. Furthermore, the paper suggests methods to attract and retain IT talent, like offering signing bonuses, revising job descriptions to focus on skills, and creating a talent pipeline from the State University System. The report emphasizes the necessity for effective project management and strategic decisions to ensure the success of Florida's IT projects and to safeguard taxpayer investments​​.

Addressing Florida's Escalating Physician Shortage: Strategies and Solutions

/ Categories: Research, Health Care, Releases

This paper addresses the growing issue of physician shortages in Florida. This shortage is primarily driven by an increasing and aging population, coupled with a high rate of physician retirements. The report evaluates the gap between healthcare demand and the supply of physicians, emphasizing the need for more medical students and improved healthcare policies. It discusses strategies like expanding Graduate Medical Education, utilizing telehealth, and leveraging Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to mitigate this shortage. The paper also considers legal and business aspects of practicing medicine in Florida, suggesting improvements to attract and retain healthcare professionals.


 

Monitoring and Oversight of General Obligation Bonds to Improve Broward County Schools

Q1 (2023-2024)

/ Categories: Research, Broward BOC, Releases, BOC

The Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Quarterly Report for Q1 2023-24, presented to the Bond Oversight Committee, marks the midpoint of the school year and Year 10 of the SMART Program. The report acknowledges Resolution 23-109 from May 9, 2023, which recognizes the efforts of the Bond Oversight Committee and Florida TaxWatch in overseeing the SMART Program and notes the Twentieth Statewide Grand Jury's identification of program deficiencies. The resolution sets an expectation for the SMART Program's completion by October 31, 2025, including financial close-out and full expenditure of General Obligation Bond funds. The report details various program aspects like safety improvements, technology upgrades, and budget activities, while addressing financial risks and the critical role of oversight committees.

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