Florida has been making very large investments in the protection and restoration of the state’s water resources. On his second day in office, Governor Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order making water a top priority. The Executive Order called for funding of $2.5 billion over four years—$625 million a year—to significantly expedite Everglades restoration and enhance the protection of our water systems. This goal was surpassed, with $3.3 billion appropriated by the Florida Legislature in the last four years for specific key water funding in addition to hundreds of millions more in water-related appropriations also in the state budget.
In what has been a regular occurrence, the Florida General Revenue (GR) Estimating Conference significantly increased the estimate of the amount of GR that will be collected. This is the sixth conference in a row that has produced a rosier revenue forecast. The last reduced estimate came at the August 2020 conference, just as the coronavirus pandemic began its relatively short-lived slowdown of Florida’s revenue collections.
The six percent sales and use tax is Florida state government’s largest revenue sourceby far, currently bringing in approximately $36 billion annually. When the almost $6 billion in local option sales tax collections is included with the state tax, the $42 billion total collections make the sales tax the number one tax source for all Florida governments, topping the $40 billion local property tax.
Florida’s general revenue (GR) collections continue their remarkable growth, beating the state’s estimates and adding more and more money for the Legislature to spend. GR collections exceeded expectations in December by $530.5 million.
Florida has remained in good financial standing this past fiscal year. This is also true of the state’s debt position. FY 2021-22 marks the ninth consecutive year with a debt ratio below the six percent target established by the Legislature. In addition: