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.
Sunday, April 21, is Florida Taxpayer Independence Day 2013, as estimated by Florida TaxWatch. On that day, Floridians are finally earning money for themselvesâ€“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.
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.
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.
Repealing an insurance premium tax credit that was designed to encourage insurance company jobs in Florida without fully assessing the impacts would be unwise, according to this Briefing from Florida TaxWatch.
According to this Briefing, When the Legislature wants to sweep a trust fund, it should be required to introduce a separate general bill for each trust fund sweep. This would allow input from legislators and testimony from concerned parties, and require an up or down vote on each sweep.
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration should continue with its planned July 1, 2013 implementation of a prospective payment plan for Medicaid hospital inpatients based on a Medicaid Diagnosis-Related Group (DRG) system, according to this new Report from the TaxWatch Center for Health & Aging.
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."
Due primarily to its substantial and unpredictable long-term costs, the Florida TaxWatch Government Cost Saving Task Force has made recommendations to reform the current Florida Retirement System (FRS) for the past several years. Given the complexity of this issue, this Report is a further expansion, clarification, and reinforcement of these recommendations.
This Budget Watch looks at the details of the Governor's $74.2 billion proposed budget for FY2013-14.
This month's Economic Commentary focuses on job growth in Florida during 2012. The analysis shows that Florida has continued its recovery from its most recent recession, showing strong job creation in a significant number of sectors.
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.
The September 2012 Florida TaxWatch Budget Outlook provides details on the revenue projections, how much spending is expected to increase, and a look at Critical and High Priority Needs items within that expected increase.
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
Updated to include Governor Scott's vetos, this piece details the progress made this legislative session on the GCSTF Recommendations for FY 2012-13
Friday, April 20, is Florida Taxpayer Independence Day 2012, as estimated by Florida TaxWatch. On that day, Floridians are finally earning money for themselves â€“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.
"Continuing ten years of research on this issue, this short piece was produced to call attention to the ""remote sales tax"" or ""e-fairness"" issue which will likely come before the Legislature again in 2013."
The final report of the Commission on Review of Taxpayer Funded Hospital Districts, which was chaired by TaxWatch President & CEO Dominic M. Calabro.
The Tangible Personal Property Tax raises nearly $2 billion annually for state government but many believe its benefits are offset by the cost to Florida businesses and a lack of uniformity in its application to taxpayers across the state. This report recommends a constitutional amendment to give the Legislature flexibility in administering the tax.
"This symbolic date assumes that every dollar earned since January 1 goes to pay federal, state, and local tax obligations. "
"Just weeks after being sworn in as governor, Rick Scott released his first budget which called for several billion dollars in spending cuts and the layoff of thousands of state workers. "