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

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.

Red Tide Mitigation Using Southern Hard Clams

/ Categories: Research, Energy/Environment

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.