The TaxWatch Research Blog

The TaxWatch Research Blog is a forum where our research staff can address topics and issues in a short format. Keep an eye on this space during Legislative Session for frequent posts making sense of the activity at the Capitol. 

Looking Back at Census 2020: What Florida’s Business and Community Leaders Need to Know

/ Categories: Research, Taxes, Economic Development

An undercount is nothing new to Florida, but its current persistence inflicts costs more formidable than in previous years.  Throughout the decade, Floridians can expect to lose between $11 billion and $21 billion. The decennial Census count and American Community Survey (ACS) help communities understand local patterns of population growth, specialized workers, income, employment statuses, and transportation needs.

Florida's FY2022-23 State Budget

Florida TaxWatch is pleased to present taxpayers with a guide to the FY2022-23 state budget, which went into effect July 1, 2022. The report includes all appropriations for the new fiscal year— the General Appropriations Act (GAA), “back-of-bill” spending, and general bills—net of the Governor’s vetoes.

BUILT FOR SUCCESS: MANUFACTURING’S ROLE IN FLORIDA’S ECONOMY

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development

Advancing Florida’s standing on the global stage requires a state economy conducive to innovation, capable of withstanding disruptions, and constantly cultivating talent. A robust manufacturing sector stands at the crossroads of these priorities and, as the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated, the sector’s importance cannot be understated.

Benefits Cliffs—At the Cliffs Edge

How reducing benefits cliffs can stimulate workforce participation and economic growth

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development

This report analyzes public safety net programs and benefits cliffs, a scenario in which a small increase in wages results in the partial or total loss of public benefits. Benefits cliffs occur when a marginal wage increase results in the partial or total loss of public benefits for different public assistance programs. For illustrative purposes, imagine a mother earns a $1,000 annual raise but loses more than $8,000 in childcare assistance—a cliff effect occurs. 

The Economic and Fiscal Significance of the U.S. Census and American Community Survey

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development, Local Government

The once-in-a-lifetime pandemic disrupted the 2020 Census— the 24th in U.S. history—delaying field operations and hampering the public’s ability to respond. This report underscores the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on 2020 Census data collection efforts, including disruptions to the ACS, and highlights how this impacts federal funding and critical decision-making among policymakers and business leaders alike.

2022 Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up

The 2022 legislative session is over, even if it ran a little long. Florida TaxWatch and the state’s taxpayers had a number of successes. Many bills and budget issues supported by our research and recommendations passed. Our research and input that raised concerns with legislation, helped to improve them or fail passage, including changes to the tax audit system and a very costly approach to improving data privacy

Wage Growth and Talent Attraction in the Pandemic Labor Market

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development

Amid a tight labor market and the ongoing “great resignation,” companies are pursuing creative and concerted efforts to attract and retain talent. Especially for service industries wrestling with existing labor shortages, recruitment methods have included sign-up bonuses, tuition reimbursement, free coding classes, and of course, higher wages. These strategies have produced higher pay for many workers and signaled a reversal from the lackluster wage growth in the years leading up to the pandemic.

Manufacturing a Transformational Shift—Expanding Florida’s Workforce Development Through Sector Strategies

A Summary of the 2021 MakeMore Manufacturing Summit

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development

FloridaMakes is a statewide, industry-led, public-private partnership operated by an alliance of Florida’s regional manufacturers’ associations. Since its inception in 2016, FloridaMakes has had an economic impact of $2.6 billion with almost 17,000 jobs created and/or retained. The pandemic underscored the important role Florida’s Manufacturing sector plays in providing products that are crucial to public health and safety, national security, and the continuity of many other industries.

THE GREAT IMBALANCE: INFLATION’S INFLUENCE IN THE COVID-19 ECONOMY

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development

INFLATION IS HARDLY A NEW PHENOMENON EXCLUSIVE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC; however, for decades preceding the pandemic, price increases were a subtle and often unnoticed component of the economy. The last time inflation posed a serious and prolonged threat to economic growth—in the early 1980s—Ronald Reagan was the president, the Iranian Hostage Crisis had ended, and Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark made its theater debut. The early 1980s signified the end of what economists called “The Great Inflation” period in U.S. history.

WORKING PAPER: Where Are The Women?

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development, Blog

This working paper is an endeavor to learn more about Florida’s labor force participation rate of women. Exploring reasons for women’s absence from the workforce can help Florida better understand the needs of its entire workforce. As a working paper, Florida TaxWatch hopes to start a discussion and encourage others to offer their insights about women’s absence from the workforce.

 

We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in Florida’s future

Here is what Florida TaxWatch thinks the Legislature should do.

/ Categories: Budget/Approps, Economic Development, Taxpayer Guide, In the News

The 2022 legislative session begins today and, despite the pandemic, Florida is in an enviable fiscal position. The state’s current budget is record in size, as are our budget reserves. Revenue collections are back above pre-pandemic levels, and this Legislature will have even more money available for the next budget cycle, made possible by both strong economic performance and billions in unappropriated federal funds.

A Rising Tide Sinks All Homes - The Effects of Climate Change on Florida's Economy

With more than 8,400 miles of coastline and a flat, low-lying coastal topography, Florida is especially vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise. Tens of thousands of Florida homes and businesses are at increased risk from sea level rise. Much of Florida’s critical infrastructure is at low elevations, designed and built with little consideration of future sea level rise. The physical effect of changing climate translates into real economic impacts.

2022 Legislature Should Reauthorize the Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund Program

Florida’s Flagship Economic Development Program has a Proven Track Record

/ Categories: Research, Taxes, Economic Development

There has been an ideological debate regarding economic development incentives brewing in the Legislature for several years. The Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund Program is a performance-based program that refunds some of the taxes a business has already paid, but only after it is verified that the contracted requirements have been met, including the promised increase in high-wage jobs.

Beyond the Pandemic—Long-Term Changes and Challenges for Postsecondary Training

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery, Economic Development, Education

Shifting demographics as the Baby Boomer generation exits the labor force will also fuel broader changes for the working population. For these reasons, the needs of the future workforce place a premium on human skills development—equipping individuals with the requisite skills to be prepared for a workforce full of disruption and displacement. Increasingly, postsecondary institutions and industry will both be crucial to training workers for an ever-evolving economy.

Beyond the Pandemic: Long-Term Changes and Challenges for Florida’s Workforce

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery, Economic Development

The third article in our Beyond the Pandemic series... In many ways, Florida's workforce looks starkly different from when it first entered the pandemic over a year ago. Challenges with controlling the spread of COVID-19 precipitated the widespread use of remote work and other digital formats across the state. These changes accelerated workforce trends that were present before COVID-19 (such as automation) and now foreshadow a future workforce that will constantly face disruption and displacement.

Beyond the Pandemic: Long-Term Changes and Challenges for K-12 Education in Florida

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery, Economic Development, Education

FOR STUDENTS, LEARNING IS A CUMULATIVE PROCESS WHEREBY KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS ARE DEVELOPED OVER SUCCESSIVE YEARS. As such, any sudden and large disruption to in-person instruction can have a cascading effect on student learning and life outcomes beyond formal education. Due to COVID-19, the unprecedented disruption in learning, especially for K-12 students, raises concerns about what unfinished learning may mean for academic achievement, mental health, and social development in the future. So what happens now?

State COVID-19 Restrictions & the Road Back to Economic Normal

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery, Economic Development

In the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly changed the world, with much of the country implementing various measures to minimize the negative health and economic impacts of widespread infection. State responses to the pandemic have been diverse and complex, with some instituting strict restrictions on businesses and others rolling back restrictions at a faster pace. At the same time, vaccine rollouts are accelerating, and state economic recoveries seem to be on varied paths with some approaching pre-pandemic levels of employment faster than others. The present analysis offers a cursory look at the relationship between state COVID-19 restrictions and their respective economic recoveries by running a preliminary correlation test between the two measures.

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