2023 How Florida Counties Compare
Florida relies heavily on local governments to provide services to its residents. The state’s counties, cities, school districts, and special districts raise and spend more money combined than Florida’s state government. The levels of taxing and spending in different jurisdictions across the state vary considerably. This report will help you see how your county stacks up against the other 66 counties.
To complement our How Florida Compares series, which compares our state to the rest of the nation, this report looks at the myriad local governments within the state. While property taxes get most of the public attention, they only provide about one-fifth of city and county revenue. The tables, charts, and graphs in this report provide comprehensive information on local tax rates, tax collections, other revenue sources, and government expenditures.
Florida TaxWatch provides this report as a reference tool for Florida’s taxpayers, policymakers, and elected officials. Use this guide as a resource to better understand the cost of your local governments and how those costs stack up with other localities.
Local taxing and spending is a major part of Florida government operations. More than half of all Florida government revenue (54.9 percent) is raised at the local level, one of the highest shares in the nation. Florida’s 67 county governments (including Jacksonville’s consolidated government), more than 400 municipal governments, and approximately 1,800 independent special districts spend more than $100 billion annually.
This report compares the revenue and expenditure profiles of Florida’s 67 counties to give taxpayers an overview of how their local government stacks up with the rest of the state. The report presents the most recently available data regarding property taxes, other taxes and fees, county and municipal revenues, county and municipal expenditures, and other related measures. Per capita figures are determined by using population figures for the year for which the data is used.
While the focus is on county and municipal governments, this report includes information on all types of local jurisdictions, including special districts and school districts, and most data are grouped geographically by county.
Based on the system developed by the Florida Department of Financial Services, known as the Local Government Electronic Reporting (LOGER) System,this report classifies local government revenues into six categories: property taxes; other taxes; charges for services; permits, fees and special assessments; intergovernmental revenues; and other revenues.
Expenditures are classified as general government, public safety, courts, utility and environment, transportation, economic development, human services, and culture and recreation.
This report uses the most recently available data, but the limitations of that data must be considered. Data are self-reported by local governments and errors and omissions can occur. While the classification system helps, there may be some differences in how governments account for similar functions. Also, this report often groups data into geographic county totals in order to derive an average for all residents in the county. Depending on where in the county a person lives, deviations can occur.
This report compares the magnitude and makeup of Florida’s local governments’ fiscal operations. It does not attempt to compare or evaluate levels of service.
Florida TaxWatch hopes the information in this book can help taxpayers make those assessments for themselves, for it is only through knowledge and participation that you can decide if you get the government you pay for.