The Impacts of Lawsuits Against Local Governments for Business Damages

/ Categories: Research, Corrections/Judicial, Local Government

The 2022 Florida Legislature is debating two pieces of legislation that add to the process of passing local ordinances and provides additional rights to businesses and residents who wish to challenge those ordinances. This Session Spotlight takes a detailed look at SB620/CS/HB569 & CS/SB280/HB403.

Closing the Digital Divide-The Expansion of Broadband Internet Service to Unserved Areas of the State

/ Categories: Research

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of access to reliable and affordable high-quality broadband Internet service to our daily lives. Communities that currently lack access to the affordable, reliable, high-quality broadband Internet that is necessary for full participation in education, health care, employment, social services and government programs, and civic life are at a marked disadvantage without that access. To help ensure that all Florida communities have access to reliable and affordable high-quality broadband Internet service Florida TaxWatch recommends the following:

WORKING PAPER: Where Are The Women?

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development, Blog

This working paper is an endeavor to learn more about Florida’s labor force participation rate of women. Exploring reasons for women’s absence from the workforce can help Florida better understand the needs of its entire workforce. As a working paper, Florida TaxWatch hopes to start a discussion and encourage others to offer their insights about women’s absence from the workforce.

 

The Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Education and Training Beyond High School in Florida

/ Categories: Research, Education

An increasingly technological and information-driven economy generally requires higher levels of educational achievement for both individual and community success. To sustain continued economic growth and competitiveness, Florida must maintain a workforce with the types of skills— trade and professional—that can attract high-wage, high-value industries.

Despite Positive Job Growth In Recent Months, People Are Quitting Jobs At Record Rates

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery, Blog

Often overlooked in favor of more eye-catching employment headlines such as unemployment rates and job creation numbers, job quitting rates are an indispensable part of understanding the overall economic recovery. Newly released national data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveal the number of people quitting their jobs in November 2021 hit a record high of 4.5 million—far above any other level on record since data first started being recorded. Since the summer of 2021, a collective 21.3 million individuals have quit their jobs across the nation.

THE GOVERNOR’S FY 2022-23 BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS

With Flush State Coffers, the Governor’s Budget Would Make Significant Investments While Leaving Billions in the Bank

/ Categories: Research, Budget/Approps

As the Florida TaxWatch Budget Watch series1 has been detailing, the budget outlook for the state is extremely rosy. Governor DeSantis’s 2022-23 budget recommendations reflect the current fiscal environment. It totals $99.7 billion and just like the current budget, the price tag does not fully account for all the spending it contains.

Florida Will Receive Billions From The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, But Is It The State’s Fair Share?

/ Categories: Research, Taxes, Budget/Approps, Transportation

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA),1 signed by President Biden on November 15, 2021, will make a significant investment in the nation’s transportation system and other infrastructure. Billions of dollars will be distributed to the states for a wide range of projects, including all modes of transportation, broadband, cyber security, water infrastructure, energy, climate change, resiliency, and pollution mitigation. Florida will get a sizable chunk of these funds.

Monitoring and Oversight of General Obligation Bonds to Improve Broward County Schools: SMART Program Quarterly Report Review for the Quarter Ended September 30, 2021

/ Categories: Research, Broward BOC, BOC

On November 26, 2021, Florida TaxWatch received the Bond Oversight Committee Quarterly Report for the Quarter Ended September 30, 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 art equipment, improve school safety, upgrade athletic facilities, and renovate educational facilities.

Budget Watch - FLORIDA GENERAL REVENUE COLLECTIONS HAVE OUTPACED ESTIMATES FOR 14 CONSECUTIVE MONTHS

/ Categories: Research, Budget/Approps

The Florida TaxWatch Budget Watch series has been detailing the rapid recovery of the state government’s revenue collections from the initial precipitous drop in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have highlighted how current General Revenue (GR) estimates are back above the last pre-pandemic estimates. Coupled with billions of dollars in federal aid, Florida is in enviable fiscal shape as the Legislature heads into the 2022 Regular Session.

Corporate Income Tax Issues for the 2022 Legislature

Repeal the Impending Tax Increase and Fix the “Retail Glitch” and Like-Kind Exchanges

/ Categories: Research, Taxes, COVID Recovery

Federal corporate income tax reform, which had the general aim of broadening the base and lowering the rate, has reduced the federal tax burden on many corporations. However, since Florida adopted most of the base expansion measures without a concurrent rate reduction, federal tax reform has resulted in increased taxes at the state level, even after subsequent state refunds and rate cuts.

A Rising Tide Sinks All Homes - The Effects of Climate Change on Florida's Economy

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.

Beyond the Pandemic: Long-Term Changes and Challenges for Housing in Florida

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery

As unexpected and unpredictable as COVID-19 has been, few could have predicted the housing boom that the pandemic ignited across the nation. The U.S. housing market—notoriously known for its role in the 2007-2009 Great Recession—defied expectations and experienced record price growth over the past year as demographic trends, government policies, and basic supply and demand all coalesced. In the short term, soaring home prices have been well-documented both analytically and anecdotally.

Navigating Federal Pandemic Relief: Following billions in stimulus dollars, where do we go from here?

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery, Budget/Approps

The massive amount of federal funding provided in the six stimulus acts provides an unprecedented opportunity to improve Florida and fund programs and infrastructure that have had long-standing backlogs with few past feasible opportunities to address to this degree.

Who Knows What—Analysis of Data Privacy Legislation in Florida

/ Categories: Research

Florida TaxWatch undertakes this updated, independent assessment to better understand the economic impacts that consumer data privacy legislation would have in Florida. The report details the individual cost components that would comprise compliance activities. Building upon the previous research brief, this report calculates the potential economic cost of litigation that a private right of action would produce. The recommendations contained at the end of the report provide policymakers with some key considerations to minimize adverse outcomes while attaining the core goal of data privacy.

Beyond the Pandemic: Long-Term Changes and Challenges for Leisure & Hospitality

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery

Just as the nation was entering a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic—one where vaccination rates were rising and pent-up demand for travel started to unleash during the summer—the contagious delta variant exposed tourism’s lingering economic vulnerability. 

2022 Legislature Should Reauthorize the Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund Program

Florida’s Flagship Economic Development Program has a Proven Track Record

/ Categories: Research, Taxes, Economic Development

There has been an ideological debate regarding economic development incentives brewing in the Legislature for several years. The Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund Program is a performance-based program that refunds some of the taxes a business has already paid, but only after it is verified that the contracted requirements have been met, including the promised increase in high-wage jobs.

Monitoring and Oversight of General Obligation Bonds to Improve Broward County Schools: SMART Program Quarterly Report Review for the Quarter Ended June 30, 2021

/ Categories: Research, Broward BOC, BOC

On September 17, 2021, Florida TaxWatch received the Bond Oversight Committee Quarterly Report for the Quarter Ended June 30, 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.

Budget Watch - What a Difference a Year Makes

2022 Legislature Heads into Session with a $7 Billion Budget Surplus

/ Categories: Research, Budget/Approps, Taxpayer Guide

Last year, COVID-19’s arrival in Florida and the attendant economic shutdown had state forecasters—and virtually everyone else--predicting gloomy fiscal times for Florida. The 2020 legislative Long-Range Financial Outlook estimated that the 2021 Legislature would be facing a budget shortfall of $2.7 billion, and without significant spending cuts, the shortfalls would continue for at least two more years.

Debate in Public Schools

A Florida TaxWatch Commentary by Bob Nave (Vice President of Research)

/ Categories: Research, Education, Blog

 How can scholastic debate and the business community work together to drive Florida's students forward? One option is to look at existing programs, like the Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Debate Initiative, which now boasts approximately 15,000 students in every high school and learning center, every middle school, and in more than 100 elementary schools. The Initiative is a partnership between BCPS and local businesses, whose sponsorships and donations are critical in supporting debate opportunities for BCPS students.

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