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.
The 2014 Session has come to a close, and this Florida TaxWatch report details all of the issues that we followed this year.
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.
This BudgetWatch report compares the FY2014-15 House and Senate budgets in each spending area, and shows the change versus the current fiscal year.
Florida's universities and research institutes are creating of some of the states most advanced technologies, but one Florida Institute is helping to bring them to the masses. The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research, highlighted in this Economic Commentary, invests in developing companies using the latest products and processes invented at Florida's publicly-funded universities and research institutes.
Already enjoying what is called a more than $1 billion budget surplus to appropriate during the 2014 Legislative Session, lawmakers were given another $150 million by the latest General Revenue (GR) Estimating Conference. This Budget Watch report for this coming fiscal year examines the latest round of estimating conferences by state economists and recommends that the Legislature still consider this a tight budget year and continue to implement cost-saving reforms such as those identified by the TaxWatch Center for Government Efficiency.
A new honeybee research facility could make Florida a global leader in agricultural research and is estimated to return more than $1 million in state tax revenue to Florida. The proposed facility, to be established at the University of Florida, would attract research revenue as well as help recruit and retain top researchers and students.
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.
Statewide expansion of telemedicine could save Florida more than $1 billion annually, according to this TaxWatch report. The report highlights the importance of removing barriers and including incentives for encouraging the use of telemedicine through the creation of a solid policy foundation.
Florida's nine university research parks help create high-wage jobs, diversify the state economy and ensure Florida retains top graduates, according to this month's Economic Commentary. The report highlights the importance of Florida's research parks to the creation and sustainability of STEM jobs in the state.
Florida's growing economy created an estimated 192,900 private sector jobs in 2013, according to this annual jobs report. The 2013 growth rates show Florida leading the nations high-population states with the largest per-capita increase in jobs. The state also saw the second-largest yearly percentage increase in non-farm employment in the nation with a 2.6 percent growth rate.
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 Economic Commentary highlights the opportunities angel investment provides to Florida startups and small businesses. Angel investor networks help entrepreneurs connect with the resources and capital they require to become successful companies that can have a significant impact on local and state economies.
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.
The federal government shutdown is negatively affecting tax revenues and capital investment in Florida, according to this report, which outlines the potential impacts an extended shutdown would have on Florida's economy.
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.
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 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.
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.
This report illustrates the positive impact of business development and trade missions on Florida's economy, highlighting the opportunities the missions create for Florida businesses, and providing details on the countries that recent delegations have visited.
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.
Encouraging an increase in manufacturing would allow Florida to further diversify its economy and produce more high-wage jobs for Floridians. The Florida Legislature can help diversify Florida's economy and create more high-wage jobs by eliminating the sales and use tax on machinery and equipment for manufacturing.
This Economic Commentary looks at the opportunities for increasing Tampa Bays export industry, and the new cooperative work the area is doing with The Brookings Institution as part of a nationwide initiative.
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.