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

Economic Census Blog January 2023

/ Categories: Research, Census, BOC

While the U.S. Census Bureau is popularly known as the leader of decennial census counts, it is also charged with conducting other surveys throughout the decade to help inform American decision-making. With each survey, the U.S. Census Bureau aims to strike the “best mix of timeliness, relevancy, quality and cost” to gather the data that define our nation’s people and economy. The U.S. Census Bureau cannot achieve its goal alone. Like the census count, the participation of all residents is key to ensuring that Americans can fully reap the benefits that the U.S. Census Bureau has to offer.

American Community Survey Blog – January 2023

/ Categories: Research, Census, Blog

In December 2022, data for the American Community Survey 2017-2021 5-Year Estimates was released. On January 26th, the 5-Year Microdata and 1-Year Data Profiles will be available. An accurate decennial census count is important for community and business decision-making. The census count creates data estimates touching nearly every facet of a taxpayer’s life, ranging from average work commutes to how many people have access to broadband. While the census is the basis for such statistics, it is obvious that counting people cannot provide such in-depth knowledge alone. The census has a partner: the American Community Survey (ACS).

A Key to Overcoming Disasters: Complete Census Data Reinforces Resiliency

/ Categories: Research, Census, Economic Development, Hurricane Ian

Florida beaches are a treasure to the state, and as such, many residents strive to remain in close proximity to the shoreline. Statewide, 64.2 percent of employment and 79.2 percent of businesses are found within Florida’s 35 coastal counties.1 Unfortunately, the luring lifestyle of beaches comes at a cost; the homes and livelihoods of most Floridians are tied to areas susceptible to hurricane havoc.

Demographic Data for Businesses and the Census

/ Categories: Research, Census, Blog

On Wednesday, August 31, Florida TaxWatch hosted a webinar “Demographic Data for Businesses & the Census” to discuss Florida’s population undercount in the 2020 Census, the impact this has on the business community, and efforts to secure more accurate data. During our webinar, we were joined by Mary Jo Hoeksema, Co-director of the Census Project; Dr. Karthick Ramakrishnan, Founder and Director of Census Legacies; Susan Racher, Vice President and CFO of Wallace H. Coulter Foundation; and Ashley Dietz, President and CEO of Florida Philanthropic Network.

Looking Back at Census 2020: What Florida’s Business and Community Leaders Need to Know

/ Categories: Research, Taxes, Census, Economic Development

An undercount is nothing new to Florida, but its current persistence inflicts costs more formidable than in previous years.  Throughout the decade, Floridians can expect to lose between $11 billion and $21 billion. The decennial Census count and American Community Survey (ACS) help communities understand local patterns of population growth, specialized workers, income, employment statuses, and transportation needs.

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