To complement our How Florida Compares series, which compares our state to the rest of the nation, this report looks at the myriad local governments within the state. While property taxes get most of the public attention, they only provide about one-fifth of city and county revenue. The tables, charts, and graphs in this report provide comprehensive information on local tax rates, tax collections, other revenue sources, and government expenditures.
An analysis of the transparency and accountability of the budget process
The $112.1 billion budget passed by the Florida Legislature for FY2022-23 contains 166 appropriations items worth $281.0 million qualifying as Budget Turkeys. These are only a portion of the record-setting more than 1,200 member projects in the new budget worth $2.8 billion. In addition, the Legislature created a new program to allow members to request at least $80 million in additional local projects from the federal State Fiscal Recovery Fund.
How reducing benefits cliffs can stimulate workforce participation and economic growth
This report analyzes public safety net programs and benefits cliffs, a scenario in which a small increase in wages results in the partial or total loss of public benefits. Benefits cliffs occur when a marginal wage increase results in the partial or total loss of public benefits for different public assistance programs. For illustrative purposes, imagine a mother earns a $1,000 annual raise but loses more than $8,000 in childcare assistance—a cliff effect occurs.
The once-in-a-lifetime pandemic disrupted the 2020 Census— the 24th in U.S. history—delaying field operations and hampering the public’s ability to respond. This report underscores the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on 2020 Census data collection efforts, including disruptions to the ACS, and highlights how this impacts federal funding and critical decision-making among policymakers and business leaders alike.
On Thursday, April 14, Florida TaxWatch joins the taxpayers in our state in celebrating Florida Taxpayer Independence Day 2022. On that day, Floridians are finally earning money for themselves–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. This measure of tax burden is based on the relative size of all taxes paid in Florida to our state’s total personal income. In 2022, for the average Florida household, paying its taxes takes 103 out of 365 days, nearly three and a half months.
Rising food and gas prices are a daily reminder that even though Florida’s economy is in a much better place than it was in March 2020, the economy is decidedly more expensive two years later in March 2022.
The 2022 legislative session is over, even if it ran a little long. Florida TaxWatch and the state’s taxpayers had a number of successes. Many bills and budget issues supported by our research and recommendations passed. Our research and input that raised concerns with legislation, helped to improve them or fail passage, including changes to the tax audit system and a very costly approach to improving data privacy
SMART Program Quarterly Report Review for the Quarter Ended December 31, 2021
On February 19, 2022, Florida TaxWatch received the Bond Oversight Committee Quarterly Report for the Quarter Ended December 31, 2021 (“Quarterly Report”). This report provides updated information on the implementation of the District’s SMART Program and the use of general obligation bond funds to purchase and install technology upgrades, purchase music and arts equipment, improve school safety, upgrade athletic facilities, and renovate educational facilities.
There are Plenty of Issues to Negotiate
The House and Senate have passed their respective budgets and now must hold budget conference meetings to hammer out the differences. An agreement must be reached on every number and every word in the 400-plus page appropriations bill. Budget negotiations are never easy and this year will be no exception, even with so much money available.
A Detailed Look at HB 9 and SB 1864
The 2022 Florida Legislature is considering two pieces of consumer data privacy legislation that would represent significant changes to how certain businesses collect, sell, and share consumer personal information, subject to certain exemptions and threshold requirements.