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

2024 Budget Turkey Watch Report

An analysis of the transparency and accountability of the budget process

/ Categories: Research, Budget Turkeys

Florida TaxWatch is proud to present the 2024 Budget Turkey Watch Report, an annual independent review that has been a staple since 1983. This report scrutinizes the Florida FY2024-25 budget, identifying appropriations that bypass established legislative procedures. Known as Budget Turkeys, these appropriations often serve limited areas, are not core state functions, or circumvent competitive bidding and oversight.

Florida Taxpayer Independence Day 2024

/ Categories: Research, Taxpayer Guide

In 2024, Floridians will spend an average of 107 days working to pay off their tax obligations. The state's total tax burden is estimated at $455 billion, with federal, state, and local taxes accounting for 71%, 15%, and 14%, respectively. Over the past decade, total taxes paid by Floridians have increased by 90%. Despite the challenges, Florida's state tax burden remains one of the lowest in the nation. Download the full report to learn more about the tax landscape in Florida.

“If You Build It, He Will Come”: Florida TaxWatch Looks At The Tampa Bay Rays’ Ballpark Proposal

/ Categories: Research, Local Government

This report analyzes the key aspects of the deal and identifies critical questions that local officials should consider before deciding whether the proposed ballpark is in the best interest of taxpayers.

The report does not draw conclusions on the merits of the deal but instead focuses on outlining the important factors that need to be weighed, such as the total public costs, the best use of public funds, and the fairness of the cost-sharing agreement. While the project is expected to generate significant economic impacts over 30 years, research shows that the benefits of publicly subsidized sports facilities are often overstated.

To learn more about this critical issue affecting the Tampa Bay region, download the full report for an in-depth, independent analysis.

2020 Census – How Florida Counties Compare

/ Categories: Research, Census

"2020 Census Participation: How Florida Counties Compare," provides valuable insights into census participation across the state in 2020 and emphasizes the importance of securing a complete count in the upcoming 2030 Census.

The report examines key metrics, highlights the costly impacts of undercounts, and outlines actionable steps businesses and individuals can take now to support a complete count.

With Census Day 2030 approaching, the time to prepare is now. Download the full report to learn more and discover how you can help ensure Florida receives its fair share of federal funding and representation.

2024 Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up

The 2024 Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up offers a concise yet thorough review of the session's key outcomes. With a $117.5 billion budget, over $1 billion in tax relief, and nearly $10 billion in reserves, the Legislature addressed crucial issues in healthcare, education, insurance, and the environment. The report provides an insightful overview of the bills and budget items that passed, as well as notable legislation that failed to advance, making it an essential resource for understanding the current state of Florida policy and its implications for residents and taxpayers.

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