Over the past few years Florida’s economy has been on the rise, finally shaking off the economic pain from the great recession. This positive growth has helped stimulate development in South Florida in particular. In a recent survey, more than 80% of small businesses in South Florida reported that they
expect to meet or exceed their 2015 revenue targets. And the economic growth is not limited to small businesses; the South Florida Region has also seen a growth in sectors such as construction, financial services, innovation, and more.
It is estimated that the 2016 Florida Legislature will have a budget surplus for FY2016-17, meaning major budget cuts should not be needed and there should be some money left over for new initiatives. After funding a continuation budget, including expected cost increases in current programs and other
historically funded items, it is anticipated that there will be $635.4 million (including an allowance for $1 billion in cash reserves) in General Revenue (GR) left over.
This annual publication takes a look at how Florida stacks up to the nation in terms of educational enrollment, outcomes, and investment.
More than just boasting and claiming bragging rights, success on the field can actually affect a school’s academic standing off the field. Studies have shown that a school’s successful athletic program can have a positive impact on a university’s exposure, attracting students to the university, as well as increasing application, retention, and graduation rates.
Presented to the Bond Oversight Committee on August 31, 2015, this report details the best practices of successful bond oversight committees across the country. If implemented, the recommended best practices will ensure that the Committee is held to a hig
This report, the third in the last two years on the subject from TaxWatch, looks at the next steps for policy changes in Florida, and compares Florida's policies with those of California, Texas, and New York.
State economists predict lawmakers will have $657.5 million more than previously anticipated for the next state budget. The latest General Revenue (GR) forecast shows the state's GR fund is expected to reach $31.6 billion for the 2016-17 budget year. The growing available funds mean recurring revenues exceed current recurring expenses by $1.6 billion.
Florida TaxWatch is pleased to present taxpayers with a guide to the FY2015-16 state budget, which went into effect July 1, 2015. We hope this annual budget pocket guide gives you the information you need to better understand where and how your hard-earned tax dollars are being spent.
In the past 12 months, the Sunshine State has experienced a 3.4 percent increase in non-farm employment with positive gains month-to-month, and has seen a steady drop in its unemployment rate. This report looks at the numbers.
Ask most people which city in the U.S. is the largest, and you will likely hear New York, or Los Angeles, or one of the other “major” cities around the country. The truth, however, is that the largest city in the country is Jacksonville, Florida, at 874.6 square miles. While the size of Jacksonville may not be well known, even fewer may realize that the city is a rising star of startup activity and job creation.
Despite lawmakers' efforts to increase transparency while crafting the 2015-16 Florida state budget, 189 projects worth $167 million were inserted into the budget without sufficient public scrutiny, or circumventing established budget processes, and found their way to the Budget Turkey Watch list.
Lawmakers return to Tallahassee next week to finish budget negotiations, but will have to resolve more than differences in healthcare spending. The May edition of Budget Watch outlines the scope of the Special Session, noting that lawmakers will also consider conforming bills ranging from transportation networks to child welfare agencies.
Last year, Florida TaxWatch called for increased spending for public defenders and state attorneys to ensure justice is available for defendants and victims involved in Florida’s court system. The legislature heeded TaxWatch’s recommendation in the 2014 budget. This year, lawmakers should extend their commitment to funding the justice system to law enforcement by investing in the replacement of the state’s law enforcement radio system.
Florida's world-renowned, $10 billion citrus industry is an important sector of the state economy, providing thousands of jobs and capital to agricultural regions. As the nation's largest supplier of citrus, the success of this industry is vital to Florida's diversified economy.
A Central Florida technology research center could help launch the state's high-tech manufacturing industry and ignite economic growth. The development of the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center through the International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research will help create, develop and support high-tech Florida companies producing smart sensor technologies for high-tech manufacturing goods.
The annual TaxWatch Legislative Update recaps legislative action on TaxWatch priority issues.
Florida has always had the reputation of being a low tax state. While this common perception is borne out by the newest available data contained in this report, the full picture is more complicated. This report provides detailed tax ranking information for Florida as compared to the rest of the nation.
With Florida's crime rate at its lowest point in nearly five decades, this report recommends policy improvements to reduce cost and improve the efficacy of the criminal justice system. The data from the report show the contrast between Florida's falling crime rate and rising prison population.
There are so many words that I could use to detail the challenges facing the banking industry in Florida and throughout the country. But, sometimes, a picture really is worth a thousand words...
Limited health care resources combined with an increased demand for quality care in Florida has led to essential innovations in our current health care delivery system. Telemedicine is one such innovation that Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare has implemented to expand access to care and extend the reach and impact of health care providers.
To bring attention to the current state of Florida’s infrastructure, and whether it can continue to meet the needs of both residents and visitors, this report looks at evaluations of the capacity of various components that support the tourism industry, including airports, roads, and cruise terminals.
Monday, April 20 Florida TaxWatch celebrates Florida Taxpayer Independence Day 2015: the day Floridians are finally earning money for themselves and not for the tax collector. This symbolic date assumes that every dollar earned since January 1 goes to pay federal, state, and local tax obligations. In 2015, for the average Florida household, paying its taxes takes 110 out of 365 days, or more than three and a half months.
Florida residents are keenly aware that tourism is an important economic engine providing power to the state economy, and several Florida TaxWatch publications provide economic data supporting this observation. Tourism is one of the top providers of jobs for Floridians and a serves as a major source of tax revenue for the state.
As Florida House and Senate leaders prepare to negotiate the differences in their budget proposals passed last week, one potential sticking point will be tax cut packages. The latest Florida TaxWatch Budget Watch outlines the tax cut options thus far.
The Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) was established in 1978 to provide competitively priced, reliable power and value-added services for its member municipalities. Concern over higher rates has caused some FMPA member municipalities to “break ranks” in pursuit of lower power rates. This report looks at the FMPA, and the oversight, or lack thereof, that currently exists.