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
This timely public policy debate centers on whether the dam and reservoir should remain in place or whether the dam should be breached to restore the natural flow of the Ocklawaha River. The “full retention” alternative would essentially maintain the status quo, while the “partial restoration” alternative would restore the river flow to near preconstruction conditions with limited removal of existing structures at the lowest cost. For each of these two alternatives, Florida TaxWatch examines the recreational, economic, and environmental impacts.
With more than 8,400 miles of coastline and a flat, low-lying coastal topography, Florida is especially vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise. Tens of thousands of Florida homes and businesses are at increased risk from sea level rise. Much of Florida’s critical infrastructure is at low elevations, designed and built with little consideration of future sea level rise. The physical effect of changing climate translates into real economic impacts.
Each year more than 100 million tourists visit Florida, attracted by its theme parks and attractions, comfortable year-round weather, water-related recreational activities, and state and national parks. The importance of healthy Florida beaches and inland waterways to the state’s economy cannot be overstated.
Florida’s economy depends in large part on the availability of reliable and affordable electric power. Like most states, Florida has a regulated energy market that considers electric power to be an essential service for its economic well-being.
A proposed constitutional amendment initiative that would destructure Florida’s energy market may appear on the November 2020 general election ballot that would (if approved) radically change Florida’s energy market. This independent analysis estimates the financial impacts of deregulation on tax revenues and to help Florida taxpayers better understand the effects of the proposed deregulation.
Currently more than eight million South Florida residents, almost one-third of the state’s population, directly rely on the Everglades system for freshwater supply. This report examines the cost of the status quo.
In addition to the serious public health risk for Floridians, the Zika virus is also creating risk for the already tight state budget outlook for next year.
Florida’s state government agencies have requested $77.835 billion in funding from the Legislature for
FY2016-17, which is $1.2 billion (1.6 percent) more than these agencies are expected to spend in the current year. The total request is made up of $29.481 billion in general revenue (GR) and $48.354 billion in trust funds. The GR request is an increase of $854.5 million (3.0 percent). The latest revenue estimates forecast $31.653 billion in GR will be available for FY2016-17 meaning that the agency requests would leave GR reserves of $2 billion.
Florida's world-renowned, $10 billion citrus industry is an important sector of the state economy, providing thousands of jobs and capital to agricultural regions. As the nation's largest supplier of citrus, the success of this industry is vital to Florida's diversified economy.