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

Palliative Care in Florida: Challenges and Options for Florida's Future

Palliative care is the management of the physical, psychological, spiritual, and social needs of patients, most often patients with nonterminal chronic or serious conditions. The services help patients manage the disease and their treatment to improve their overall functionality while providing relief from symptoms, such as the reduction of pain and suffering, and reducing stress for patients and their families. 

The underlying goal is to provide coordinated services that improve the patient’s life – essentially to provide the right care at the right time for each patient given their condition and situation. The additional benefit of this highly individualized care, as studies have shown, is an overall reduction in treatment costs.

TaxWatch research shows that community-based palliative care warrants special attention as a distinct and promising healthcare service.

The devil is in the details.

The Legislature must develop a regulatory framework for palliative care. For the state to realize the cost-savings benefits of palliative care, the payment/reimbursement system must be addressed.  To ensure the financial stability of palliative care providers, a system of care reimbursement that can be used by public and private payors must be developed, along with a definition of the services that constitute palliative care.  

The regulations must balance the competing interests of protecting patients from being harmed by providers that do not have the expertise or capacity to provide appropriate and comprehensive palliative care services and avoiding overly burdensome regulations that will stifle growth and expansion. 

Additionally, the Legislature should invest in programs that increase training opportunities to address workforce shortages.  Like with many areas in healthcare and long-term care, workforce shortages are a major barrier to expansion of palliative care.  To address this issue, the Legislature should fund increased palliative medicine fellowships, provide incentives for palliative care fellows to remain in Florida, invest in expanding training programs for nurses, and fund internship opportunities.

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