Florida's Revenue Opportunities Under Sec 179D

/ Categories: Research, Taxes, Budget/Approps, Energy/Environment, Transportation, Cost Savings
Florida is neglecting millions of dollars in federal tax incentives, according to this Briefing. Federal legislation allows for tax deductions to offset the cost of energy efficient new buildings or building renovations, which result in added value to the state. TaxWatch recommends the state identify public buildings that could receive the tax deduction.

Selecting the Assessments for Florida's New Education Standards

/ Categories: Research, Education
Florida's new education assessment should measure students content mastery and compare their achievement to students outside of the state, according to this Briefing. An effective assessment requires student comparison, field testing and alignment with the new standards, which call for students to master content at a deeper level and apply their comprehension skills.

The Importance of Teacher Preparation to Student Achievement

/ Categories: Research, Education
Within Florida's new educational standards, students will be expected to understand and apply rigorous English language arts and mathematics content at a much deeper level, to reflect on what they are learning, to defend or depart from conclusions, and to collaborate with other students in their learning process. For students to be successful, teachers must be afforded time with their colleagues to develop the same skills for their instructional practices.

Economic Commentary - Florida: The Fishing Capital of the World

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development, Tourism
According to this months Economic Commentary, in 2013, more than 1.2 million non-residents fished during a visit to Florida. In addition to attracting anglers from around the world to fish, Florida hosts boating and fishing expos throughout the year, drawing visitors and their tax dollars to the state economy. Florida's unique location and variety of fishing opportunities position the state as the world leader in sport fishing tourism.

Economic Commentary: Florida Businesses and Local Governments Invest In CNG

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development, Energy/Environment, Transportation
According to this Economic Commentary, Florida consumes more than 728 billion cubic feet of natural gas annually, 85 percent of which is used by electric utilities. Further, 59 of Florida's 67 counties have natural gas services available for industrial, commercial and residential use. While Floridians have taken advantage of the benefits of natural gas for electricity purposes, this alternative fuel may provide ample opportunities for both commercial and personal transportation developments.

Economic Commentary: Florida Companies Train the World

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development
The latest Economic Commentary from Florida TaxWatch highlights Florida's successful Modeling, Simulation and Training (MS&T) sector. Simulation and training exercises replicate life-like situations in a controlled environment, which allows for substantial cost-savings especially important during government sequestration and private sector cutbacks.

Implementing the CCSS: The Importance of Getting it Right

/ Categories: Research, Education
The first in a developing series about Florida's implementation of the Common Core State Standards, this Briefing gives background on the CCSS, and makes the case that in order for Florida to be an educational leader and provide the workforce talent to strengthen and transform our economy, Floridians from every sector must commit to support our students and teachers in unprecedented changes in teaching and learning.

Preeminence Designation for Florida's Universities

/ Categories: Research, Education
The 2013 Florida Legislature, with support from the Governor, passed landmark legislation that established the criteria by which the state can declare preeminent institutions of higher education within Florida's State University System. Achieving the benchmarks required for preeminence will ensure that Florida public universities rank among the highest in the nation.

Economic Commentary: Foreign Direct Investment in Florida

/ Categories: Research
Florida has ample opportunities for economic expansion by increasing Foreign Direct Investment according to this month's Economic Commentary from the Florida TaxWatch Center for Competitive Florida. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is a physical investment that a foreign company makes when they buy or open businesses in Florida.

2013 Turkey Watch Report with Governors Vetoes

/ Categories: Research, Budget Turkeys, Taxes, Budget/Approps
UPDATED: With Vetoes The 2013 Florida TaxWatch Turkey Watch Report identifies $106.8 million in Budget Turkeys. This annual Report identifies appropriations that appear in the budget at the last minute, bypassing the legislatively-established competitive process and receiving little or no public review. This years Report highlights 107 projects that deserve extra consideration for veto by the Governor.

2013 Turkey Watch Report

/ Categories: Research, Budget Turkeys, Taxes, Budget/Approps
The 2013 Florida TaxWatch Turkey Watch Report identifies $106.8 million in Budget Turkeys. This annual Report identifies appropriations that appear in the budget at the last minute, bypassing the legislatively-established competitive process and receiving little or no public review. This years Report highlights 107 projects that deserve extra consideration for veto by the Governor.

Economic Commentary: Florida's Gulf Research Cooperation

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development, Energy/Environment, Transportation
For the past three years, 10 Florida universities and research institutions have been focused on researching the long-term effects of the BP oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico's marine life, environment, and public health. This month's Economic Commentary focuses on three Florida university-led entities' recent research findings and developments, and how these findings make our state stand out in the scientific arena.

2013 Taxpayer Independence Day

/ Categories: Research, Taxes, Taxpayer Guide
Sunday, April 21, is Florida Taxpayer Independence Day 2013, as estimated by Florida TaxWatch. On that day, Floridians are finally earning money for themselves–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.

Bringing FL-SOLARIS to Life

According to this Briefing, progress on the organization of state-owned lands and facilities records has been made, although there is more to be done. The large, yet basic database has been established, but the important tasks of maintaining its relevance and making improvements remain. Phase II of this project offers significant taxpayer value.
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