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Economy Heating Up in South Florida

09/2015 // Over the past few years Florida’s economy has been on the rise, finally shaking off the economic pain from the great recession. This positive growth has helped stimulate development in South Florida in particular. In a recent survey, more than 80% of small businesses in South Florida reported that they expect to meet or exceed their 2015 revenue targets. And the economic growth is not limited to small businesses; the South Florida Region has also seen a growth in sectors such as construction, financial services, innovation, and more.

Budget Watch - Projected Surplus Not As Large As It Seems

09/2015 // It is estimated that the 2016 Florida Legislature will have a budget surplus for FY2016-17, meaning major budget cuts should not be needed and there should be some money left over for new initiatives. After funding a continuation budget, including expected cost increases in current programs and other historically funded items, it is anticipated that there will be $635.4 million (including an allowance for $1 billion in cash reserves) in General Revenue (GR) left over.

Trophies and Transcripts

08/2015 // More than just boasting and claiming bragging rights, success on the field can actually affect a school’s academic standing off the field. Studies have shown that a school’s successful athletic program can have a positive impact on a university’s exposure, attracting students to the university, as well as increasing application, retention, and graduation rates.

Moving Telehealth Forward: The High Costs of Paying Later

08/2015 // This report, the third in the last two years on the subject from TaxWatch, looks at the next steps for policy changes in Florida, and compares Florida's policies with those of California, Texas, and New York.

Budget Watch - General Revenue Forecast for FY 2016-17

08/2015 // State economists predict lawmakers will have $657.5 million more than previously anticipated for the next state budget. The latest General Revenue (GR) forecast shows the state's GR fund is expected to reach $31.6 million for the 2016-17 budget year. The growing available funds mean recurring revenues exceed current recurring expenses by $1.6 billion.

Florida's 2015 Mid-Year Job Growth

07/2015 // In the past 12 months, the Sunshine State has experienced a 3.4 percent increase in non-farm employment with positive gains month-to-month, and has seen a steady drop in its unemployment rate. This report looks at the numbers.

Jacksonville Poised for Sustained Growth

06/2015 // Ask most people which city in the U.S. is the largest, and you will likely hear New York, or Los Angeles, or one of the other “major” cities around the country. The truth, however, is that the largest city in the country is Jacksonville, Florida, at 874.6 square miles. While the size of Jacksonville may not be well known, even fewer may realize that the city is a rising star of startup activity and job creation.

2015 Budget Turkey Watch Report

06/2015 // Despite lawmakers' efforts to increase transparency while crafting the 2015-16 Florida state budget, 189 projects worth $167 million were inserted into the budget without sufficient public scrutiny, or circumventing established budget processes, and found their way to the Budget Turkey Watch list.

Budget Watch - 2015 Special Session Preview

05/2015 // Lawmakers return to Tallahassee next week to finish budget negotiations, but will have to resolve more than differences in healthcare spending. The May edition of Budget Watch outlines the scope of the Special Session, noting that lawmakers will also consider conforming bills ranging from transportation networks to child welfare agencies.

Squeezing the Greening out of Florida Citrus

05/2015 // Florida's world-renowned, $10 billion citrus industry is an important sector of the state economy, providing thousands of jobs and capital to agricultural regions. As the nation's largest supplier of citrus, the success of this industry is vital to Florida's diversified economy.

Could Florida Be The Next High-Tech Hub?

05/2015 // A Central Florida technology research center could help launch the state's high-tech manufacturing industry and ignite economic growth. The development of the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center through the International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research will help create, develop and support high-tech Florida companies producing smart sensor technologies for high-tech manufacturing goods.

2015 Legislative Wrap-up

05/2015 // The annual TaxWatch Legislative Update recaps legislative action on TaxWatch priority issues.

2015 How Florida Compares: Taxes

04/2015 // Florida has always had the reputation of being a low tax state. While this common perception is borne out by the newest available data contained in this report, the full picture is more complicated. This report provides detailed tax ranking information for Florida as compared to the rest of the nation.

A State of Incarceration: Florida's Crime and Incarceration Data Over Time

04/2015 // With Florida's crime rate at its lowest point in nearly five decades, this report recommends policy improvements to reduce cost and improve the efficacy of the criminal justice system. The data from the report show the contrast between Florida's falling crime rate and rising prison population.

Making Room for 100 Million Visitors

04/2015 // To bring attention to the current state of Florida’s infrastructure, and whether it can continue to meet the needs of both residents and visitors, this report looks at evaluations of the capacity of various components that support the tourism industry, including airports, roads, and cruise terminals.

Taxpayer Independence Day 2015

04/2015 // Monday, April 20 Florida TaxWatch celebrates Florida Taxpayer Independence Day 2015: the day Floridians are finally earning money for themselves and not for the tax collector. This symbolic date assumes that every dollar earned since January 1 goes to pay federal, state, and local tax obligations. In 2015, for the average Florida household, paying its taxes takes 110 out of 365 days, or more than three and a half months.

Florida Is The World's Port Of Call

04/2015 // Florida residents are keenly aware that tourism is an important economic engine providing power to the state economy, and several Florida TaxWatch publications provide economic data supporting this observation. Tourism is one of the top providers of jobs for Floridians and a serves as a major source of tax revenue for the state.

Budget Watch - House and Senate Tax Cut Packages

04/2015 // As Florida House and Senate leaders prepare to negotiate the differences in their budget proposals passed last week, one potential sticking point will be tax cut packages. The latest Florida TaxWatch Budget Watch outlines the tax cut options thus far.

An Analysis of the Florida Municipal Power Agency Audit

03/2015 // The Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) was established in 1978 to provide competitively priced, reliable power and value-added services for its member municipalities. Concern over higher rates has caused some FMPA member municipalities to “break ranks” in pursuit of lower power rates. This report looks at the FMPA, and the oversight, or lack thereof, that currently exists.

Budget Watch - House and Senate Proposed Budgets

03/2015 // A more than $4 billion dollar difference between the House and Senate budget proposals is detailed in this annual analysis of the initial budgets, which shows that the largest point of contention between the chambers is in funding the health and human services portion of the budget.

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