The TaxWatch Research Blog

The TaxWatch Research Blog is a forum where our research staff can address topics and issues in a short format. Keep an eye on this space during Legislative Session for frequent posts making sense of the activity at the Capitol. 

Legislature Should Reduce Florida's Communications Services Tax

/ Categories: Research, Taxes, Budget/Approps, Economic Development, Local Government
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."

Aligning Postsecondary Education with Modern Employment Needs in Florida

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development, Education
To address the steps that Florida has taken and should continue to take to match our graduates to the industries that need a workforce with skill-specific education, this Briefing looks at two aspects of the issue: how the right degree can make a difference in lifetime earning potential, and how Florida's Supply and Demand Portal can help students and employers achieve their goals.

Investing in Tourism: the Economic Impact of Expanding Florida Tourism

/ Categories: Research, Taxes, Budget/Approps, Economic Development, Tourism, Local Government
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.

Government Cost Savings Task Force Report for FY2013-14

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.

Economic Commentary- Florida's Space Coast: Recovery and the Future

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development
This month's Economic Commentary focuses on the aerospace industry in Florida following the closure of the Space Shuttle program at NASA. According to Enterprise Florida, the state ranks 2nd nationally for aviation, aerospace, and space establishments, employing some 83,200 Floridians, and providing a significant amount of the high tech manufacturing jobs in the state. With private and tourist-centered space travel on the very near horizon, the Commentary looks at what Florida is doing to keep this vital sector active in the Sunshine State.

Economic Commentary - Florida Invests in Competitiveness

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development
This month's Economic Commentary discusses how Florida is investing in seaport and related infrastructure more than at any other time in our history, to diversify Florida's economy and make our state more competitive. This new infrastructure will allow Florida companies to be more efficient handling freight, and will allow additional opportunities for companies to transport their goods to markets in and out of Florida.

Economic Commentary-The Effect of the Midwest Drought on Florida

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development, Energy/Environment, Transportation
With counties in 32 states placed on the USDA's list of primary disaster areas because of drought conditions, this month's Economic Commentary looks at the effects of the drought on food, and potentially fuel, prices. Corn is currently at the highest per-ton cost in history, which will lead to increases in commodities like milk, meat, and eggs for us all.

Economic Commentary- Florida's Business Cycle Revisited

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development
This Economic Commentary is an extension of the June 2011 Economic Commentary, which discussed how Florida's business cycle is different from other states, and the U.S. business cycle. The most recent updated index figures indicate that "Florida has experienced positive growth in the index for each month since January 2010."

Economic Commentary- Foreign Buyers of Florida Homes

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development
While we typically think of Florida as a top destination for U.S. citizens looking to buy homes, Florida the top state in the U.S. for attracting foreign homebuyers. This month's Economic Commentary looks at the impact of foreign buyers on Florida's home sales and spotlights our biggest international real estate investors, Canada.

Economic Commentary- The Effect of High Gas Prices on the Florida Economy

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development
April's Economic Commentary focuses on the tangible effect of the price of gasoline on the average Florida consumer, and shows an impact on disposable income, travel, and even incoming tourists. Gas prices are still not as high as their peak in July 2008, but are on the rise again going into the summer driving season. How will this effect Florida's economic recovery?