Floridians have another reason to be thankful this holiday season: Florida is not one of the 14 states in the nation that tax groceries. While most food that Florida residents prepare themselves for a Thanksgiving feast is exempt, some of the items on dinner tables may be subject to the state's sales tax, ranging from six to 7.5 percent.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Increased demand for new home construction is evidence that Florida is continuing its strong recovery from the Great Recession, according to this report. Housing starts are a leading economic indicator which reflects increased consumer demand.
Florida taxpayers have a reason to celebrate on Tuesday, April 22nd. The date marks Taxpayer Independence Day as estimated by Florida TaxWatch. April 22nd, 2014, is the first day in the calendar year that Florida taxpayers, on average, will begin earning income that does not go toward federal, state and local taxes.
This BudgetWatch report compares the FY2014-15 House and Senate budgets in each spending area, and shows the change versus the current fiscal year.
Many local governments in Florida have taken advantage of the practice of selling advertising on local transit vehicles and bus shelters, similar to the recommendations made by Florida TaxWatch in multiple cost-savings reports. TaxWatch evaluates allowing advertising on the boxes that house traffic signal controllers in this Report.
This report shows that all economic development strategies are not created equal, and details the spillover effects of several popular economic development projects. Although each local community must address its individual economic needs, the report shows that targeting certain areas of economic growth produce higher return on investment.
Highlights from Governor Rick Scott's proposed budget plan for FY 2014-15 are featured in this Budget Watch Report. The $74.20 billion spending plan is slightly lower than current year spending, even as lawmakers are expected to have their first budget surplus in many years.
This Report, from the TaxWatch Center for Government Efficiency, highlights more than $1 billion in savings for Florida taxpayers, without reducing state-provided services. The six comprehensive recommendations included in the Report address replacement of the state's accounting system; information technology governance, procurement and state asset management; pension reform; criminal justice reform; state health insurance reforms; and revenue maximization.
This infographic shows some of the major economic statistics for Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, and Gadsden counties. (Note: Designed to be printed on 11x17" paper.)
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.
Florida's claim bill process is in need of reform. This processâ€”by which persons can petition the legislature for payment of tort claims against governmentâ€”has received increased attention in recent years due to high profile cases and large awards. This Report makes recommendations on reforming the system.
If the "Sequester" kicks in on March 1, the immediate cuts to the budget authority are $85 billion, and the Congressional Budget Office has indicated that spending will be reduced by $44 billion by the end of September 2013. It is incredibly important that everyone understands how detrimental these cuts will be to U.S.'s fourth largest economy and to its recovery from the Great Recession. This Economic Commentary details some of the effects of these automatic federal spending cuts on Florida.
This Briefing looks at the history of the CST in Florida, compares Florida's rates to other states, finding that Florida is the fourth-highest state in the U.S. for this tax, and recommends that the Legislature look to reduce CST rates to "benefit a wide range of Floridians, affecting virtually all individuals and businesses."
Some Florida cities are taking meaningful steps towards reducing their pension liabilities, according to this Report, released by Florida TaxWatch, and the LeRoy Collins Institute, housed at Florida State University.
The economic modeling done in this Report, looking at the impact of investing more in Florida's tourism industry, indicates that the Florida tourism industry reaching the milestone of 100 million annual visitors would create 121,298 jobs, and increase overall personal income for Floridians by $5.3 billion.
Continuing a legacy that has resulted in the savings of at least $3.5 billion in Floridians' hard-earned tax dollars over the last four years alone, Florida TaxWatch added more than $1 billion in cost-saving options for lawmakers this year, with the release of this Report. This year's Report is the fifth in as many years from Florida TaxWatch, the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog headquartered in Tallahassee.
Consistent with the research and educational mission of Florida TaxWatch, the 2012 Voter Guide is the third consecutive Guide released during a statewide election cycle. TaxWatch released similar Guides in 2010 and 2008, and has written extensively on individual Constitutional Amendments going back nearly 30 years.
A proposed Constitutional Amendment on the November 2012 ballot would create Florida jobs, grow Florida's Gross Domestic Product, and increase the personal income of Floridians, according to this new analysis from the TaxWatch Center for Competitive Florida
The Briefing surveys the significance of public-sector employment in Florida counties by examining the ten largest employers per county, and finds that public employers are the top employer (by number of employees) in 51 of the 67 counties in Florida, and one of the top five employers in every single county in the state.
According to this report, Florida has the potential to collect millions of dollars for energy efficiency enhancement projects already completed, or planned.