The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s Employment

Variations Across Industry, Region, and Income

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery

AS FLORIDA APPROACHES THE ONE-YEAR MARK SINCE THE STATE REPORTED ITS FIRST POSITIVE COVID-19 CASE, Florida’s recovery picture seems to be a mixed bag. The state closed out 2020 on an optimistic note as unemployment inched downward to 6.1 percent from a high of 13.8 percent in April 2020, but as January 2021 drew to a close, first time jobless benefit claims rose by more than 71,000 across the state.

A Decade of Self-Taxing

Florida voters have approved $10.8 billion in local taxes & bond issues since 2010

/ Categories: Research, Taxes, Local Government

Florida has long relied on its local governments to fund a major portion of its government services. In fact, that reliance is heavier than in all but one other state. Florida’s counties, municipalities, school districts, and special districts provide more than half (52.6 percent) of all state and local revenue collected in the state, trailing only New York (54.7 percent).1 Our state has consistently ranked first or second in this metric for many years.

THE GOVERNOR’S FY2021-22 BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS

Federal Funds Would Lead to Record Spending

/ Categories: Research, Budget/Approps

Despite the negative revenue impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Legislature’s early talk of shortfalls and budget cuts, Governor Ron DeSantis has released a proposed budget for FY2021- 22 that totals $96.578 billion, a $4.308 billion (4.7 percent) increase over current year spending.

Bringing The Sunshine State Back: the Impact of COVID-19 Across Florida’s Economy & Options for Recovery

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery, Economic Development

As Florida continues to deal with the constantly changing COVID-19 pandemic, questions remain as to how the state will reverse one of the worst recessions in history while at the same time maintaining prudent public health and safety measures. The difficulty lies in the unequal manner in which the virus has wreaked havoc on the state’s various economic sectors. Due to the varied effects, understanding the nature and scope of each sector’s unique pandemic challenges is crucial to providing substantive policy recommendations going forward.

The Best Defense Is A Good Offense: The Economic Impact of Protecting Responsible Floridians from COVID-Related Civil Liability

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery, Economic Development

As the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt by Florida’s businesses, non-profits, schools, colleges and universities, and healthcare providers, employers of all types are fearful of keeping their business open or reopening their business because of the threat of opportunistic, predatory, and expensive litigation resulting from alleged exposure to COVID-19 when they are taking proper precautions. 

Budget Watch - Finally, Some Good Budget News

New General Revenue Estimates Add $2.1 Billion to Expected Collections

/ Categories: Research, Budget/Approps

The General Revenue Estimating Conference (GREC) met on December 18 and 21 and increased Florida’s general revenue (GR) projections by $1.486 billion in the current budget year and $623 million in FY2021-22.1 This restores 39 percent of the $5.4 billion two-year reduction in the estimates adopted by the GREC last August. 

2021 Economic Preview: An Uncertain Yet Hopeful Year of Growth

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery, Economic Development


 AS WE CLOSE OUT A TUMULTUOUS YEAR for Florida, defined by COVID-19 and its resulting disruptions to everyday life, we consider what may lie ahead for Florida’s economy in 2021. If there’s one thing assured for next year, it is that much economic uncertainty will persist against the backdrop of a constantly changing pandemic. Yet with several promising vaccines on the horizon and gradually improving labor market conditions, Florida looks poised to undergo the slow but steady process of economic rebuilding over the coming year.

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

SMART Program Quarterly Report Review for the Quarter Ended September 30, 2020

/ Categories: Research, BOC

On November 20, 2020, Florida TaxWatch received the Bond Oversight Committee Quarterly Report for

the Quarter Ended September 30, 2020 (“Quarterly Report”). This single 854-page report provides updated

information on the implementation of the District’s SMART Program and the use of general obligation

bond funds to purchase and install technology upgrades, purchase music, and art equipment, improve

safety, upgrade athletic facilities and renovate educational facilities.

 

Tax Free Turkey?

The Taxation of Groceries in Florida

/ Categories: Research, Cost Savings

As Thanksgiving nears and we think about the many blessings we have to be thankful for, here’s another one to add to the list: groceries are exempt from the Florida sales tax.

Post Election Wrap-Up: Local Tax Referenda

/ Categories: Research, Taxes, Local Government, Voter Guides

On November 3, 2020, Floridians went to the polls (or voted by mail) to elect the next President of the United States, voted on numerous state and local races, and decided the fate of six proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution. As if that were not enough, voters across the state had to consider more than 200 local referenda, including some significant tax increases This wrap-up looks at how these measures fared. 

After COVID-19: Rethinking how the state delivers services to Floridians in need

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery, Cost Savings

Application surges during the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed the shortcomings of the current state-administered, federal safety net programs, especially the Reemployment Assistance (Unemployment Insurance) program. This report explores Florida’s opportunity to implement more efficient and cost-effective business processes, thus reducing the size of government, saving the taxpayers money, and improving service delivery to Floridians in need.

2020 How Florida Compares: Taxes

/ Categories: Research, Taxes, Taxpayer Guide

This report is part of our larger How Florida Compares series, which is intended to help Floridians better understand their state through data.  This report, like each report in this series, provides neutral, nonpartisan information on where Florida ranks compared to our 49 sister states and the national average.  

Expanding Early Childhood Courts in Florida

/ Categories: Research

Florida TaxWatch undertakes this review of Early Childhood Courts to better understand how Early Childhood Courts can provide improved child-parent outcomes while saving taxpayer money. Florida TaxWatch is proud to present the following report to highlight the importance of expanding Early Childhood Courts and to initiate conversation with state policymakers in the upcoming 2021 legislative session and beyond.

Guía del Votante 2020

/ Categories: Research, Voter Guides

Florida TaxWatch tiene el honor de brindar este servicio a los contribuyentes de Florida para ayudar a educar a los votantes sobre las enmiendas que se les presentan en la boleta de este año. La Guía del Votante de 2020 detalla las seis enmiendas presentes en la boleta electoral del 3 de noviembre de 2020, proporciona recomendaciones de TaxWatch sobre la forma de votar junto con el razonamiento de cada recomendación. 

Economic Commentary – The Economic Impact of a Rebounded and Revitalized Space Program on Florida's Space Coast

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development

Last month’s historic achievement does more than simply showcase human ingenuity and exploration; for residents on Florida’s Space Coast, the SpaceX mission signifies an economic rebound ten years in the making. For a local economy once devastated by the Space Shuttle Program’s end and the Great Recession, achievements in the private space industry have promoted a revitalized economy that continues to display an upward trajectory.

Budget Watch - Florida is Facing Large Budget Shortfalls

/ Categories: Research, Budget/Approps

The severe economic contraction brought on by COVID-19 has reduced state revenues significantly. The pandemic is also increasing government costs such as virus response/recovery and assistance to those harmed economically by the public health emergency. This spells trouble for the current and future state budgets.

2020 Florida Taxpayers Voter Guide

To the 2020 Constitutional Amendments

/ Categories: Research, Voter Guides

Florida TaxWatch is honored to provide this service to the taxpayers of Florida in order to help educate voters on the issues before them on this year’s ballot. The 2020 Voter Guide details the six amendments on the November 3, 2020 ballot, provides a TaxWatch recommendation of which way to vote, and the reasoning for each recommendation. 

Amendment 2: Florida's $15 Minimum Wage Initiative

/ Categories: Research, Voter Guides

In this report, Florida TaxWatch examines the potential impacts of raising Florida’s minimum hourly wage to $15 on Florida businesses and taxpayers. Like many amendments, the increased minimum wage comes with both positive and negative impacts. While it would help lift many workers out of poverty and increase wages even for those not making minimum wage, it would also increase the cost of doing business in the state, and the cost of being a consumer in the state.

TaxWatch COVID-19 Taxpayer Task Force

/ Categories: Research, Taxes

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.

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