Florida lawmakers need to act quickly to connect patients with higher quality, timely care by using telehealth to bring the state's health policies into the 21st century, according to recommendations from this report, which notes that policymakers should immediately pursue incremental adoption of telehealth policies during the 2015 session.
A new national report ranking Florida's business climate as 5th best in the nation highlights the state's strengths but may overstate the attractiveness of Florida's tax system, according to this report. The ranking is from the Tax Foundation's 2015 Business Tax Climate Index, an annual publication that analyzes how tax structures compare across states.
Florida, home to more than 1.6 million veterans, has provided a number of tax and related benefits to veterans and their families, in an effort to become the most veteran-friendly state in the nation. To celebrate Veterans Day, Florida TaxWatch compiled a list of Florida's veteran-friendly policies.
Already a capital of global tourism, Florida has an opportunity to bring even more tourists and more revenue to the state by investing in medical tourism, according to this report, which finds that patients visiting Florida from around the United States and the world for planned medical procedures could have a significant impact on the state economy and while improving residents' health care options.
This quick look at taxes on candy and other treats in Florida includes a look at how Florida compares to the rest of the US.
Florida is taking steps to handle more of the world's trade industry by expanding its intermodal centers, specialized facilities where goods are moved from one form of transportation to another, such as moving a shipping container from a ship to a train or from rail to truck.
Florida lawmakers are expected to have a small budget surplus when they come to Tallahassee in 2015. State economists have predicted that funding a continuation budget next year will leave $336.2 million in available General Revenue funds. This is the fourth surplus in four years, despite being less than half of the surplus in fiscal year 2013-14.
Florida's prison population is rapidly increasing despite declining crime rates, and this report recommends options to prevent increasing costs from overwhelming taxpayers. The report warns that the steadily growing elderly prison population in state facilities will require more costly medical care, resulting in additional budget concerns for an already struggling Department of Corrections.
State and local economic development professionals, with help from the Florida Legislature, are working to diversify the Panhandle's economy using the area's transportation assets, skilled workforce, and natural coastlines. The Panhandle region is home to three seaports, six military installations, natural coastlines and 1.4 million permanent residents, creating major opportunities for growth in skilled manufacturing, trade and logistics, and tourism
The Taxwatch Voter Guide for 2014 explains the three amendments facing voters this November.
Florida's latest cycle of revenue and expenditure estimating conferences show that Florida is still in a healthy post-recession recovery; however, the conferences have resulted in forecasts with slightly tempered expectations. Generally, projections of revenues were reduced from the previous estimates, even though the funds are expected to continue to grow year over year.
This infographic shows job growth in Florida over the past year.
On the precipice of college football kickoff, this report highlights the economic benefits of Florida's seven Division I NCAA football teams, and explains how football programs increase revenue for schools and the state as a whole.
Investment in Floridas tourism industry resulted in nearly 76,000 jobs created in 2013, according to this report. The independent analysis shows that the state should meet the goal of attracting 100 million visitors to Florida by 2015, which has a significant impact on job creation in the state.
When the 2015 Legislature convenes in Tallahassee, it is expected to have nearly $30 billion in General Revenue to create the state budget for FY 2015-16. However, after this month's GR Estimating Conference, the new General Revenue projection is $141.6 million less than previously thought.
Florida seaports are performing very well under a decentralized governance model, managing and meeting their local needs while implementing a state level strategy to holistically enhance Floridas economic climate, according to this joint report from Florida TaxWatch and the Florida Ports Council.
From August 1-3, Floridians will save nearly $40 million in taxes while they shop tax-free for back-to-school supplies. Florida families can purchase clothing, school supplies, and even computers up to $750 tax-free. This infographic shows the estimated savings for taxpayers over the history of this annual tax holiday.
All the bills passed by the 2014 Legislature have now been evaluated by the state's revenue estimators, resulting in a revenue reduction of more than $550 in the current fiscal year. Local revenues will be reduced by $41.5 million and $37.0 million. Despite the declining revenue estimates, the reduction still leaves $1.65 billion in general revenue reserves for the fiscal year, according to the July Budget Watch.
Florida's job growth is steadily improving according to this report, which analyzes job growth data and shows higher job creation numbers for Florida than in the previous year, indicating a healthier state economy.
Floridas booming aircraft manufacturing industry is helping to diversify the state, according to a new report. The report, Ready for Takeoff: Florida Can Lead The Nation In Aircraft Manufacturing, shows that Florida is the most attractive state for aircraft manufacturing, illustrated by the number of industry companies relocating to the state.
Florida's favorable agricultural climate positions the state as the second largest produce exporter in the nation, according to a new report, which finds that the farming and processing of Florida produce contributes more than $7.5 billion to the state economy.
International home purchasers play an integral role in Florida's housing market, according to this analysis of home sales. This report highlights the nations that have the highest amount of home purchases in the Sunshine State, and projects future home sales.
Commuter train projects in Florida have generated some economic activity and job growth in Central and South Florida, though major concerns exist for taxpayers around the state, according to this Economic Commentary. The report highlights Orlandos new SunRail project and South Florida's All Aboard Florida commuter rail line, expected to begin operating in 2016.
This years Budget Turkey Report finds $120 million in projects slipped into the budget without a full and transparent review.
The 2014 Session has come to a close, and this Florida TaxWatch report details all of the issues that we followed this year.