The 2017 Legislature passed only 249 bills, the second lowest number in at least the last 15 years. This wrap-up details the issues TaxWatch followed this year.
This Session Spotlight is a look at the provisions in HB 7109, comparing the Senate amendment to the original House bill, and an examination of other bills and proposed constitutional amend- ments dealing with property taxes that have passed or are expected to pass and that could also reduce the taxes Floridians pay.
As we enter the penultimate week of the 2017 Legislative Session, the next state budget is still very much up in the air. The House and Senate spending plans are effectively $4 billion apart.
This report is a look at the provisions in HB 7109, along with the Senate bills that contain one of these provisions and that have cleared at least one committee. Following this analysis is an examination
of several bills and proposed constitutional amendments dealing with property taxes
that could also impact the taxes Floridians pay.
It would be difficult to find a more clear and widespread competitive disadvantage faced by many Florida businesses than the Business Rent Tax (BRT). This report looks at how to provide relief.
This annual report details how Florida stacks up against the rest of the nation in terms of taxes and fees.
The 2017 Legislature is considering SB 378, a bill that would eliminate the insurance premium tax (IPT) credit. This report examines the issues involved with repealing the salary credit and concludes it should be maintained.
The General Revenue (GR) Estimating Conference met recently to determine how much money will be available to the 2017 Legislature for the new state budget.
Governor Rick Scott recently released his $83.474 billion proposed budget, which will be considered by the Legislature as it crafts the state’s new spending plan.
Florida residents come out in droves to take advantage of sales tax holidays, the subject of this report. These ever-popular tax breaks allow Florida shoppers to take advantage of tax-free purchases on certain items.
This publication compares the revenue and expenditure profiles of Florida’s 67 counties to give taxpayers an overview of how their local government stacks up with the rest of the state.
In dollars, America’s debt is forecast to reach an astonishing $87.9 trillion in 30 years. This is more than $200,000 for each of the 400 million men, women, and children expected to live in the United States in 2046. This Budget Watch looks at the long-term implications of such a debt.
This guide compares the revenue and expenditure profiles of Florida’s 67 counties to give taxpayers an overview of how their local government stacks up
with the rest of the state.
Wednesday, April 20 Florida TaxWatch celebrates Florida Taxpayer Independence Day 2016: 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.
This session saw a number of bills that advanced Florida TaxWatch recommendations become law. This publication is a final look at the legislation followed by TaxWatch this Session.
Have you ever wondered how Florida’s taxes stack up against the taxes in other states? If so, this report is for you. The annual Florida TaxWatch How Florida Compares: Taxes report ranks Florida’s state and local taxes against those levied around the nation.
The House and Senate passed their respective state budgets for FY2016-17 with four weeks remaining in the 2016 Session. They will now go into the budget conference process to negotiate the differences. Conference meetings could start as early as this week (the week of February 22).
Florida legislators received news this week that they will have $395.6 million less to spend on the next state budget than originally anticipated. Citing weaker corporate profits and adverse developments in the international economy, the state General Revenue (GR) Estimating Conference decreased its estimates of GR collections in each of the six years in its forecast horizon.
Florida’s has historically held the reputation of being a low-tax state, and that is largely true, especially at the state level. But taxes do not tell the whole story of what government costs its citizens. Taxes, especially those reported to the U.S. Census Bureau, exclude a large amount of revenue paid into
government co ers by citizens. And that non-tax revenue accounts for a much higher portion of government total revenue in Florida than in the average state.
A better measure of the cost of government is “own source revenue,” which Florida TaxWatch has been tracking in its How Florida Compares series. Own source revenue includes all direct revenue except for intergovernmental aid, revenue from government-owned utilities and other enterprises, and social insurance funds. It includes non-tax revenue such as fees, charges for services, special assessments, impact fees and net lottery revenue.
Governor Rick Scott’s budget recommendations for FY2016-17 total $79.252 billion—an increase of 1.1 percent ($855.1 million) over current year spending. General Revenue (GR) spending of $29.260 billion would be an increase of 1.4 percent over the current year. The budget proposes to fund 112,823 state employee positions, 864 fewer than currently exist.
A recent study by George Mason University’s Mercatus Center reviewed the fiscal health of the United States, breaking down each state individually for comparison across several standardized metrics. This Economic Commentary takes a look into some of these measurements, as well as examining other areas that affect Florida’s fiscal standing.
Thanksgiving for most people invokes images of family gatherings, turkey, and football. But for retailers, it invokes images of large crowds and dollar signs. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday are cash cows for businesses, particularly the retail and food industries. Those days are also
important for Florida, as the state will collect a six percent sales and use tax on most of the retail goods purchased by shoppers and some grocery items, but will fail to collect lawfully owed taxes on many items purchased online during Cyber Monday.
Given the diverse economic benefits provided by manufacturing, it is in the state’s best interest to continue to foster growth in this sector, and Florida lags behind compared to other Southern states. But while most Southern states provide broad tax exemptions for manufacturing equipment, Florida’s most important exemption to encourage capital investment in manufacturing will sunset in April 2017. The analysis in this report demonstrates that extending the exemption could provide a significant economic benefit to the state, and its manufacturing industry.
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.
A reduction in the BRT would be broad-based, benefiting a large number of businesses. All businesses that rent commercial real estate pay the sales tax on those rents, regardless of their profitability or financial shape. Reducing the sales tax would help be a significant help to struggling companies. It would also help new businesses, who may find that other startup costs rule out purchasing real estate as an option.