Social Determinants of Health: Health Care Access and Quality

/ Categories: Research, Economic Development, Health Care

This report examines the social determinants of health (SDOH), underscoring that environmental and social factors are the primary determinants of health outcomes. Significant barriers to healthcare access include high insurance costs and a large uninsured population, contributing to Florida's low national ranking in healthcare access. Challenges are particularly acute in rural and low-income areas, with a notable dependence on emergency services by uninsured individuals, imposing considerable economic strains.

To address these issues, the report suggests expanding Medicaid eligibility to enhance access and reduce costs, promoting telehealth to connect urban and rural communities, increasing autonomy for nurse practitioners and physician assistants to alleviate physician shortages, and implementing the "Live Healthy Agenda" to elevate healthcare quality and access throughout Florida. These recommendations aim to catalyze systemic changes for a healthier, economically stable state.

Principal Leadership Awards Roundtable Summary 2024

/ Categories: Research

The Principal Leadership Awards Roundtable Summary highlights the contributions of 15 outstanding principals who have significantly influenced student achievement under challenging conditions. This document explores effective strategies in teacher retention, school culture, and community engagement, drawn from a roundtable discussion of award-winning principals. It offers practical insights and research-backed recommendations to enhance educational outcomes. Educators and leaders are encouraged to access and utilize this report to foster educational excellence across Florida.

2024 Budget Turkey Watch Report

An analysis of the transparency and accountability of the budget process

/ Categories: Research, Budget Turkeys

Florida TaxWatch is proud to present the 2024 Budget Turkey Watch Report, an annual independent review that has been a staple since 1983. This report scrutinizes the Florida FY2024-25 budget, identifying appropriations that bypass established legislative procedures. Known as Budget Turkeys, these appropriations often serve limited areas, are not core state functions, or circumvent competitive bidding and oversight.

Florida Taxpayer Independence Day 2024

/ Categories: Research, Taxpayer Guide

In 2024, Floridians will spend an average of 107 days working to pay off their tax obligations. The state's total tax burden is estimated at $455 billion, with federal, state, and local taxes accounting for 71%, 15%, and 14%, respectively. Over the past decade, total taxes paid by Floridians have increased by 90%. Despite the challenges, Florida's state tax burden remains one of the lowest in the nation. Download the full report to learn more about the tax landscape in Florida.

“If You Build It, He Will Come”: Florida TaxWatch Looks At The Tampa Bay Rays’ Ballpark Proposal

/ Categories: Research, Local Government

This report analyzes the key aspects of the deal and identifies critical questions that local officials should consider before deciding whether the proposed ballpark is in the best interest of taxpayers.

The report does not draw conclusions on the merits of the deal but instead focuses on outlining the important factors that need to be weighed, such as the total public costs, the best use of public funds, and the fairness of the cost-sharing agreement. While the project is expected to generate significant economic impacts over 30 years, research shows that the benefits of publicly subsidized sports facilities are often overstated.

To learn more about this critical issue affecting the Tampa Bay region, download the full report for an in-depth, independent analysis.

2020 Census – How Florida Counties Compare

/ Categories: Research, Census

"2020 Census Participation: How Florida Counties Compare," provides valuable insights into census participation across the state in 2020 and emphasizes the importance of securing a complete count in the upcoming 2030 Census.

The report examines key metrics, highlights the costly impacts of undercounts, and outlines actionable steps businesses and individuals can take now to support a complete count.

With Census Day 2030 approaching, the time to prepare is now. Download the full report to learn more and discover how you can help ensure Florida receives its fair share of federal funding and representation.

2024 Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up

The 2024 Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up offers a concise yet thorough review of the session's key outcomes. With a $117.5 billion budget, over $1 billion in tax relief, and nearly $10 billion in reserves, the Legislature addressed crucial issues in healthcare, education, insurance, and the environment. The report provides an insightful overview of the bills and budget items that passed, as well as notable legislation that failed to advance, making it an essential resource for understanding the current state of Florida policy and its implications for residents and taxpayers.

Monitoring and Oversight of General Obligation Bonds to Improve Broward County Schools

Q2 (2023-2024)

/ Categories: Research, Broward BOC

This report for the Broward Bond Oversight Committee offers an insightful overview of the SMART Program's achievements and challenges as it progresses into its tenth year. Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) remains committed to enhancing educational facilities, technology, safety, arts, and athletics through the strategic use of General Obligation Bond funds. Despite facing unforeseen challenges, the program is on track, with significant milestones reached in school safety enhancements and technology upgrades, ensuring an enriched learning environment for students. Financial oversight and community engagement are emphasized as key elements in maintaining transparency and accountability. As BCPS navigates through these complexities, the report underscores a collective effort towards fulfilling the promises made to the community, aiming for the complete execution of the SMART Program by October 31, 2025.

Session Summary: 2024 Taxpayer Roundup

/ Categories: Research, Budget/Approps

The Florida TaxWatch's 2024 Legislative Session Taxpayer Roundup report provides a comprehensive overview of significant tax legislation in Florida, highlighting nearly $1 billion in tax relief measures, including toll credits and potential property tax savings through a proposed constitutional amendment. Key successes include substantial tax cuts, sales tax holidays, and new tax credits aimed at supporting employment and child care.