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

Corrections in Context

It is essential that the state regularly evaluate components of its justice system to ensure efficient and effective policies and procedures. This half-page-sized pocket guide provides an in-depth examination of Florida sentencing and incarceration over the past two decades.

Summary of Key Findings

  • As the “sentence lag time” increases, so can the cost of housing pretrial defendants in local jails;
  • The majority of offenders sentenced in FY2015 took plea bargains and received sanctions for nonviolent offenses;
  • Judges make use of opportunities to exercise discretion through downward departures, but it only affects a small portion of offenders;
  • Stringent sentencing policies lead to lengthier prison stays and more inmates;
  • Florida’s incarceration rate is declining as the inmate population begins to level-off;
  • Floridians between the ages of 25 and 34 have the highest incarceration rate;
  • Florida prison admission and release rates are in decline;
  • Nonviolent offenders make up over half of yearly prison admissions;
  • Year-and-a-day inmates comprise 7.5 percent of state prison admissions;
  • Florida admits an increasing number of elderly inmates each year, many for nonviolent offenses;
  • Inmates’ education levels entering prison remain low;
  • Florida’s mentally ill inmate population continues to grow, as does the severity of diagnosis;
  • Florida recidivism continues to decline, but lags behind states like Texas;
  • Florida’s corrections budget is relatively constant as a portion of state general revenue;
  • The majority of DOC spending went to institutional operations in FY2016; and
  • Spending per inmate, per day has remained relatively constant.

Documents to download

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