HURRICANE MICHAEL BUDGET AMENDMENTS NOW TOTAL $443 MILLION; MORE THAN $200 MILLION IN CORPORATE INCOME TAXES COULD BE REFUNDED
The eagerly awaited final General Revenue (GR) estimates to be used for the next state budget are out. Legislators and appropriations lobbyists were hoping for an infusion of cash to ease a tight budget year, made even tighter by hurricane-related costs and the competing costly priorities of the Governor and legislative leaders. Well, that did not happen. The estimates did not change much, decreasing by a total of $7.4 million.
Less than a week after the Senate Appropriations Committee heard a gloomy presentation on the outlook for the upcoming budget, the General Revenue Estimating Conference met on December 18 and increased the revenue projections by $461.5 million in FY2018-19 and another $380.5 million in FY2019-20. This means the 2019 Legislature will have an estimated $842 million more in General Revenue (GR) collections for the next state budget than was previously expected.
Florida’s state forecasters estimate that the 2019 Legislature will have a $223.4 million budget surplus when it puts together the state’s new spending plan for FY 2019-20. However, this assumes the Legislature will transfer nearly $400 million from trust funds—money earmarked by law for specific uses—into the General Revenue (GR) Fund.
Florida’s General Revenue (GR) Estimating Conference met on August 16 and forecast that the state would collect $13.1 million less than expected in FY2018-19 and $19.5 million less in FY2019-20. This reduces the estimated GR that the Legislature will have for the next state budget by $32.6 million, a change of less than one-tenth of 1 percent.
Actual net GR collections for the fiscal year that that just ended exceeded the last estimate (February 2018, adjusted for legislative changes) by $205.2 million (0.66 percent). This will be added to the unobligated FY2018-19 GR (cash reserve) balance of $1.026 billion to be carried forward to the next budget year (FY2019-20). These numbers, along with the current cycle of the state’s Estimating Conferences, can begin to define the fiscal outlook for the next state budget that will be developed by the 2019 Legislature.
The 2018 Legislature passed a $88.727 billion state budget—the General Appropriations Act (GAA)—which recently took effect on July 1. But that doesn’t tell the whole story of what was spent by lawmakers last session. While the GAA price tag gets all the publicity, other appropriations can go largely unnoticed.
The $88.7 billion budget passed by the Florida House and Senate for FY2018-19 contains 87 appropriations items qualifying as Budget Turkeys worth $147.5 million. Since projects were not added to the budget during conference this year, most of these were flagged because they circumvented established selection processes. This includes 56 local transportation projects worth nearly $120 million. These member projects, for which there is no formal evaluation and selection process, bypass the transportation planning process, potentially diverting funds from projects that are in the DOT work program.
Find out all about what happened this Session with the TaxWatch Legislative Wrap Up.
The House unveiled its 2018 tax cut package (HB 7087) almost a month ago, while the Senate’s did not appear until week 8 of
the session when it was amended onto SB 620 in the Appropriations Committee. The bills have a lot of similarities, but there are big differences that will have to be negotiated before a final tax cut package is approved.
The 2018 Legislature has an opportunity to strengthen and increase the independence of an important taxpayer safeguard—the Florida Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate. Senate Bill 826 and House Bill 1345 would make the needed changes to the law.
As the Florida Legislature prepares to go into conference budget negotiations to finalize the FY2018-19 budget, state estimators gave lawmakers a bit of good news. Florida’s General Revenue (GR) Estimating Conference met on February 9 and forecast that the state would collect an additional $461.8 million in FY2017-18 and FY2018-19.
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. The report presents the most recently available data regarding: property taxes, other taxes and fees, county and municipal revenues, county and municipal expenditures, and other related measures.
The budget’s bottom lines are relatively close, with the Senate’s $87.3 billion plan coming in at only $100 million more than the House. While the totals are similar, some big differences exist, particularly in education and environmental funding.
Governor Rick Scott recently released his eighth and final budget recommendation. This report details the proposal by budget area.
Having led in the enactment of Florida’s current consitutional state revenue limitation, Florida TaxWatch has been recommending a simpler and higher standard to pass tax increases since 1995.
The new Outlook forecasts that after funding a continuation budget, there will be $52.0 million in General Revenue (GR) left over, until the financial impacts of Hurricane Irma are considered.
Estimating Conference says that revenue from the gaming agreement that was reached in July between the state and the Seminole Tribe will more than offset a projected revenue loss for the state.
Florida TaxWatch is pleased to present taxpayers with a guide to the FY2017-18 state budget, which went into effect July 1, 2017. After deducting the Governor’s vetoes, the net result is FY2017-18 appropriations totaling $85.158 billion, a $2.9 billion (3.5%) increase over FY2016-17.
The 2017 Florida Legislature passed a $82.418 billion General Appropriations Act (GAA), already the largest in the state’s history. But this is not all the money appropriated this year.
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.
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.
Florida tourism is an absolutely critical industry to the state, employing millions of people and contributing millions of dollars to state coffers. Despite its importance to the Sunshine State, tourism is in the crosshairs of the Florida House, a costly decision according to this report.