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

/ Categories: Research, Health Care

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Invade Taxpayers' Wallets, Too

From 1940 to today, the average life expectancy in the U.S. has increased from 63 years to 79 years. While the use of antibiotics is not exclusively responsible for this increase, they have certainly played a large part.

In the anthology of serendipitous scientific innovations, the discovery of antibiotics stands out. In the fall of 1928, Dr. Alexander Fleming returned from vacation to find some of his Petri dishes contaminated with mold. Fortunately, Dr. Fleming didn’t just toss his moldy glassware. Instead, he examined the mess under a microscope and discovered that the mold, which turned out to be penicillin, had deterred the growth of Staphylococcus aureus (or “Staph”), a common bacteria responsible for skin infections, food poisoning, blood poisoning, and pneumonia. As with most pharmaceuticals, it took a while to translate discovery into availability but, by 1944, the New York Times reported that “penicillin in reach of all is pictured.”

In 1945 Fleming (along with several others) was awarded a Nobel Prize for the discovery of penicillin. During his Nobel acceptance speech, Fleming warned that the overuse of penicillin might lead to bacterial resistance. Fleming was not a seer - the pathway of antibiotic resistance is simple and predictable. Unfortunately, we are experiencing the truth of Fleming’s forecast.

Bacterial resistance is a prime example of evolution, and with the short life-cycle of germs, adaptation happens in the span of years rather than eons. In short, over-prescribing and misuse of antibiotics have allowed for survival of the fittest. Unaware of this potential, many patients demand antibiotics from their physicians, and a recent study found that over 30 percent of antibiotic prescriptions in the U.S. are unnecessary. If a patient is prescribed an antibiotic for a non-bacterial (viral) infection, the medication has no impact on the illness but does destroy some of the body’s bacteria.

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