Florida TaxWatch Releases Data Supporting COVID-19 Liability Language and Recommendations for Florida’s Economic Sector Recovery

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  Florida TaxWatch (FTW) today released two reports, Bringing The Sunshine State Back: The Impact of COVID-19 Across Florida’s Economy & Options for Recovery, and The Best Defense is a Good Offense: The Economic Impact of Protecting Responsible Floridians from COVID-Related Civil Liability, that address the impacts of a lack of a liability shield and the pandemic on Florida’s major economic sectors.

Florida TaxWatch Releases its 2021 Economic Preview Report

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  Florida TaxWatch (FTW) today released its 2021 Economic Preview: An Uncertain Yet Hopeful Year of Growth. Floridians have plenty of reason to be cautiously optimistic as the state’s economic picture in 2021 appears mixed and uncertain. Although strong job creation will certainly aid Florida’s labor market recovery, personal income will not grow as rapidly for many families.

Florida TaxWatch Releases Quarterly Report for Broward SMART Program

/ Categories: Releases, BOC

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released its review of the Broward County School District's SMART Program in its report Monitoring and Oversight of General Obligation Bonds to Improve Broward County Schools: SMART Program Quarterly Report Review for the Quarter Ended September 30, 2020. While the BOC meeting originally scheduled for today, Monday, December 14, 2020 has been canceled, the released report includes five recommendations which will be presented and discussed by FTW Senior Vice President of Research Bob Nave at the next meeting of Broward County Bond Oversight Committee (BOC).

Tony Carvajal Joins Florida TaxWatch as Executive Vice President

Carolyn Gosselin, Tanya Bechtold, and Kat Dunn also join Florida TaxWatch team

/ Categories: Releases

Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) announced the appointment of Tony Carvajal as Executive Vice President. Mr. Carvajal succeeds Robert Weissert who is moving to Washington, D.C. to pursue the next chapter of his career after 14 great years with the taxpayer research institute. Along with Mr. Carvajal, TaxWatch also welcomes Carolyn Gosselin as Chief Growth and Strategy Officer, Tanya Bechtold as Director of Investor Relations, and Kat Dunn as Digital Content Manager. Florida TaxWatch is also announcing the promotions of Kurt Wenner and Bob Nave to Senior Vice Presidents of Research and Chris Barry to Vice President of Communications.

Florida TaxWatch Announces 2020 TaxWatch Productivity Award Winners

/ Categories: Releases

Florida TaxWatch (FTW) today announced the winners of the 2020 TaxWatch Productivity Awards (TPA). For more than 30 years, the TPA program has recognized and rewarded the dedication and hard work of state employees who find ways to improve services, increase efficiencies, and save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars each year. The 2020 awards were presented by Kyra Solutions, Inc. 

Florida TaxWatch: Voters Approved $400 Million in Local Tax Increases

Voters also passed $250 million in new bond issues and 15 new property tax exemptions

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – 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. This briefing follows Florida TaxWatch’s 2020 Voter Guide Special Edition: Local Tax Referenda report which was issued prior to the election and provided voters with a thoughtful analysis of these proposed ballot initiatives, tax increases, and new bond issues.

Florida TaxWatch: Reform Needed to Address Shortcomings of Federal Assistance Program Administration

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released its latest report, The Aftermath of COVID-19: Rethinking How the State Delivers Services to Floridians In Need, offering an independent analysis of the shortcomings of the current state-administered, federal safety net pro­grams, especially Florida’s Reemployment Assistance (Unemployment Insurance) program known as CONNECT.

Florida TaxWatch Analyzes 2020 Local Tax and Fiscal Ballot Referenda

Florida taxpayers will consider more than $360 million in proposed tax increases and $200 million in new bond issues.

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released the 2020 Voter Guide Special Edition: Local Tax Referenda, analyzing the 33 ballot referenda before voters across Florida which propose more than $360 million in tax increases and $200 million in new bond issues. Voters in 11 localities will also help decide questions regarding property tax exemptions, and there are at least 150 charter amendments being decided on local ballots.

Florida TaxWatch Releases Annual “How Florida Compares: Taxes” Report

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released the 2020 edition of its annual How Florida Compares: Taxes report. The FTW How Florida Compares: Taxes report is an easy-to-use guide to help Floridians better understand their state by comparing Florida’s taxes to those that are levied across the nation. The report, which is part of FTW’s larger How Florida Compares series, provides nonpartisan information on where Florida ranks and contains nearly 40 tables, graphs, and charts that provide a comprehensive look at tax collections and other government revenues for all 50 states.

Florida TaxWatch Releases Quarterly Report for Broward SMART Program

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released its latest review of the Broward County School District's SMART Program in its report Monitoring and Oversight of General Obligation Bonds to Improve Broward County Schools: SMART Program Quarterly Report Review for the Quarter Ended June 30, 2020. The report makes two recommendations addressing concerns related to continued delays of Primary Renovations projects and the program’s increasing financial risk.

Florida TaxWatch Publica la Guía del Votante de 2020 sobre las Enmiendas Propuestas en las Boletas Electorales

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Hoy, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) publicó la Guía del Votante de 2020 de Florida que proporciona a los contribuyentes análisis y recomendaciones de votación para cada una de las seis enmiendas constitucionales propuestas que aparecerán en la boleta electoral durante las elecciones generales el 3 de noviembre de 2020. Al analizar cada enmienda propuesta, FTW consideró el impacto de estas, los argumentos presentados por las partes a favor y por las partes en contra de su implementación, el impacto fiscal en los contribuyentes de Florida y su idoneidad como enmienda constitucional. Como parte de la Guía para el Votante de 2020, FTW también incluyó una página de notas para que los votantes anoten sus propios pensamientos sobre estos temas y se la lleven a las urnas.

Florida TaxWatch: Florida Space Coast Economies Fueled by Revitalized Space Program, Private Investment

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released its latest economic commentary, The Economic Impact of a Rebounded and Revitalized Space Program on Florida’s Space Coast, examining the impact on local economies of the federal Space Shuttle Program’s discontinuation, and the subsequent revival of the space industry in Florida thanks to private investment.

Florida TaxWatch Releases Voter Guide for 2020 Constitutional Amendment Ballot Proposals

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released the 2020 Florida Taxpayers’ Voter Guide to Florida’s Constitutional Amendments providing taxpayers with independent analysis and voting recommendations for each of the six proposed constitutional amendments that will appear on the ballot during the 2020 general election. In analyzing each proposed amendment, FTW considered the impact of the amendment, the arguments made by parties both for and against its implementation, the amendment’s fiscal impact on Florida taxpayers, and its appropriateness as a constitutional amendment. As a part of the 2020 Voter Guide, FTW also includes the full text of each proposed amendment and a notes page for voters to jot down their own thoughts on these issues and take it with them to the polls.

Florida TaxWatch Analysis of Amendment 2: Florida's $15 Minimum Wage Initiative

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released a special report, Amendment 2: Florida’s $15 Minimum Wage Initiative analyzing the impacts on businesses and taxpayers of Florida’s $15 minimum wage initiative which will go before the voters this November as Amendment 2. In this report, TaxWatch finds a fundamental problem with increasing the minimum hourly wage to $15 is that while intended to create winners, it creates many more unintended losers, creating the potential for detrimental effects on taxpayers, small business, and low-skill workers. A 2019 report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that while implementing a federal $15 minimum wage could raise 1.3 million Americans out of poverty, as many as 3.7 million Americans who would otherwise be employed would be jobless as a result.

Florida TaxWatch: AHCA Medicaid Contract Shows Urgent Need for State Procurement Reform

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released its latest briefing, It Is Time to Overhaul the State Procurement System, providing robust recommendations for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to increase contract oversight and safeguard taxpayer dollars for large-scale, multi-year state contracts. These recommendations follow AHCA’s recent announcement of a $135 million bid award to Deloitte Consulting for the agency’s Medicaid Enterprise Data Warehouse project. Prior to this bid award announcement, Gov. DeSantis ordered an investigation into Deloitte Consulting and its management of Florida’s unemployment system in May 2020. The investigation is ongoing and led by the Office of the Chief Inspector General.

Florida TaxWatch COVID-19 Taxpayer Task Force Releases Tax Policy Recommendations for State’s Fiscal Recovery

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida TaxWatch (FTW) today released the recommendations of its COVID-19 Taxpayer Task Force which was established in May 2020 to discuss opportunities and options to ease the financial and administrative burdens on Florida taxpayers created by the pandemic and help Florida's economic recovery. Made up of public policy professionals, tax and budget experts, and leaders of both small and large businesses, the Task Force was established to identify those areas of state tax policy that could be addressed both immediately and in the long term to provide Florida’s businesses—and their employees and customers—appropriate relief and assistance.

Florida TaxWatch Releases Findings of 2020 Education Leadership Roundtable with Principal Leadership Award Winners

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida TaxWatch (FTW) today released its Education Leadership Roundtable Summary Report, which explores ways to improve the overall quality of Pre-K–12 education by examining the “best practices” of some of the state’s most effective public-school principals. The summary report includes key strategies for success shared during a recent FTW Education Roundtable Discussion, along with supporting research and key takeaways.

TAXWATCH REPORT: The Suncoast Connector: What We Still Need to Know

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released its latest report, The Suncoast Connector: What We Still Need to Know examining the Suncoast Connector, 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 (SB 7068). The report seeks to identify the potential costs and long-term financial challenges of constructing the Suncoast Connector portion of the M-CORES program.

Florida TaxWatch Releases Taxpayers' Guide to Florida’s 2020-21 State Budget

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida TaxWatch (FTW) today released its Taxpayers’ Guide to Florida’s FY2020-21 State Budget, providing an overview and analysis of the record $92.27 billion FY2020-21 Florida State Budget which was signed by Gov. DeSantis on June 29 and took effect July 1, 2020. The FY2020-21 budget, originally passed by the Florida Legislature totaling more than $93.2 billion, was cut with a record $1 billion in vetoes by Gov. DeSantis in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Florida TaxWatch Releases Major Budget and Policy Recommendations for COVID-19 Economic Recovery

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released its latest report, BRINGING FLORIDA’S BUDGET BACK FROM COVID-19 A Roadmap for a Responsible Recovery, outlining major budget and policy recommendations and options to reduce state spending and maximize existing revenue sources as Florida fights to recover from the significant fiscal impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The recommendations put forward today by FTW can conservatively produce a combined nearly $6 billion in annual positive impact on the budget and include proposed legislative actions for both short-term (FY 2020-21) and long-term consideration by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature.

Florida TaxWatch Releases Quarterly Report for Broward SMART Program

/ Categories: Releases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released its review of the Broward County School District's SMART Program in its report Monitoring and Oversight of General Obligation Bonds to Improve Broward County Schools: SMART Program Quarterly Report Review for the Quarter Ended March 31, 2020. The report includes three recommendations which will be presented and discussed by FTW Vice President of Research Bob Nave at the Broward County Bond Oversight Committee's (BOC) Monday, June 15, 2020 meeting, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The meeting may be viewed online here.

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