9 Actions Florida Should Take to Help Taxpayers Impacted by Hurricane Ian

1.     Postpone tax notices and waive penalties or interest for late tax filings in affected areas

2.     Extend the date for residents to take advantage of the tax discounts they would normally receive for paying property taxes and special assessments in November and postpone or defer the deadline for property tax installment payments

3.     Protect individual and business taxpayers from the risks for notices that they will likely not receive because their home or business addresses is not accessible anymore

4.     Issue no new audits in severely impacted areas, extend the statute of limitations and postpone existing audits that haven’t reached the assessment stage because these can’t be responded to while entire communities are still recovering

5.     Create procedures for fairly estimating taxes which can’t be calculated because records have been destroyed by the storm, moving away from the current method which significantly overestimates activity if no records are available

6.     Initiate procedures to offer payment plan assistance for late taxes, rather than resorting to the standard collection methods, like liens, levies, or bank freezes

7.     Retroactively apply the recently passed law that provides property tax refunds for residential property rendered uninhabitable as a result of a catastrophic event

8.     Provide tangible personal property relief and allow n on-residential properties rendered uninhabitable to receive property tax refunds

9.     Get Congress to pass a Disaster Tax Relief Act that includes provisions from past packages, including elements such as an Employee Retention Credit, an enhanced casualty loss deduction, and other relief provisions

Other Resources

Florida TaxWatch Statement on Hurricane Ian Recovery

Community Involvement

Analyzing the Fiscal Impact of the Energy Deregulation Constitutional Amendment

A proposed 2020 ballot initiative currently making its way through the process, if approved by 60 percent or more of the voters, would deregulate only the segment of Florida’s energy market served by the investor-owned utilities (IOUs). Under the proposed language, IOUs would be limited to the construction, operation, and repair of electrical transmission and distribution systems, while municipal and cooperative utilities would have discretion whether to opt into competitive markets. The Florida Legislature would be required to create laws and regulations providing for competitive wholesale and retail markets for electricity generation and supply, and consumer protections, by June 1, 2023 and fully implement the new system by June 1, 2025.

There are a variety of significant tax and revenue implications of this amendment, and this Florida TaxWatch analysis finds that, unless very significant increases in the price of electricity for Floridians result, adoption of the proposed constitutional amendment will have a negative impact on state and local government revenues. These impacts have the potential to be relatively large. Of course, the Legislature and local governments can change the tax structure in an attempt to offset any revenue loss, but that road is fraught with peril.

This analysis provides estimates for both 2018 and 2026.  The impacts were first estimated for 2018, the year of the latest tax data.  Those estimates were then projected out to 2026—the expected first full year of implementation if the amendment were to pass. 

The estimates are as follows:

A Assumption 4 is a combination of the previous assumptions plus a loss of value from non-generation property, therefore the mid-point of assumption 4 represents the mid-point of the combination of the assumptions.

B State total includes the Gross Receipts Tax and State Sales Tax

C Local total includes the Franchise Fees, Property Taxes, Public Service Tax, and Local Sales Tax

Note: local estimates do not include any revenue from the state 6% sales tax (local government half-cent sales tax, county and municipal revenue sharing, and fiscally constrained counties).

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