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

The Importance of Effective Access to Student Education (EASE) Grants

/ Categories: Research, Education

Florida’s Effective Access to Student Education (EASE) grants provide modest tuition equalization to reduce the difference between public and private tuition; make private institutions more affordable to Florida residents; fuel enrollment growth; increase retention and degree completions in Florida; and reduce the tax burden on Florida taxpayers.

Instructional Expenses: Prek-12 Education Spending

/ Categories: Research, Education, Blog

Where and how well our school districts spend our education dollars can have a profound impact on student academic achievement and success. Historically, education makes up about one-fourth of Florida’s total budget. Florida TaxWatch believes that shifting education spending away from administrative and other expenses and toward classroom/instructional expenses is beneficial.

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

SMART Program Quarterly Report Review for the Quarter Ended June 30, 2022

/ Categories: Research, Education, Broward BOC

The Broward County Public Schools’ Bond Oversight Committee Quarterly Report for the Quarter Ended June 30, 2022 (“District Quarterly Report”) provides updated information on the implementation of the District’s SMART Program and the use of general obligation bond funds to purchase and install technology upgrades, purchase music and arts equipment, improve school safety and security, upgrade athletic facilities, and renovate educational facilities.

Building a Culture of Success: What Effective Principals Do

The 2022 Florida TaxWatch Principal Leadership Awards Roundtable Discussion Summary and Findings

/ Categories: Research, Education

Among all school-related factors that contribute to what students learn at school, leadership is perhaps second only to classroom instruction. Furthermore, the impact of leadership tends to be the greatest in schools where the learning needs of students are most acute.

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