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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.


Analysis of Florida's Behavioral Health Managing Entities Model

03/2015 // Florida delivers substance abuse and mental health services to the indigent and uninsured through a regional model managed by Behavioral Health Managing Entities (BHMEs). This report finds that this BHME model is a good behavioral healthcare system that provides a framework for future success.


The Lionfish: Threatening Native Fish and Florida's Fishing Industries

03/2015 // The lionfish, native to the Indo-Pacific region, is an invasive species in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean that devours native fish and competes for food with native predators, and represents a threat to several important industries in Florida, including sport and commercial fishing, and to the health of coral reefs and the biodiversity in our waters.


The Communication Services Tax: Time for a Change

02/2015 // Easing the tax burden for Florida families and businesses would also attract business investment, create Florida jobs and grow the state's information-based economy, according to this report, which highlights the state's Communications Services Tax, the fourth highest in the nation.


Options for Reforming Class Size Limits

02/2015 // This report, the third in a series, outlines options to reform Florida's class size limits that have cost taxpayers more than $30 billion since voters approved them in a 2002 constitutional amendment.


Budget Watch - Governor's Recommended Budget

02/2015 // This Budget Watch analyzes Governor Scott's FY2015-16 budget recommendations.


Improving the Value of Florida's Enterprise Zone Program to Taxpayers

02/2015 // This report highlights several often overlooked benefits to the program, including that it is one of the only economic development programs available to retailers and that companies in Enterprise Zones provided necessary services to their communities, such as access to food and medications.


Florida Sees Solid Job Growth in All Sectors in 2014

01/2015 // For the past four years, the January edition of the monthly Florida TaxWatch Economic Commentary has analyzed the annual Florida employment figures for the previous year. Since the first such analysis in January 2011, Florida has gained approximately 710,200 nonfarm jobs, which equates to a 9.9 percent growth.


Budget Watch - Agencies Request Small Increase in Funding for FY2015-16

01/2015 // Florida's state agencies are requesting $75.602 billion from the Legislature in 2015, a modest increase of $660.8 million. Eighteen of the state's agencies are asking for more money in the upcoming budget year, while twelve agencies have proposed reducing their funding levels.


Cultivating Florida's Second Stage Companies

01/2015 // GrowFL, a state program designed to grow and develop the biggest job-creating companies in Florida should be expanded, according to this report, which shows that the program's impact statewide over the next ten years would help produce 25,000 jobs, diversify the state economy and provide positive return on Florida's investments.


2015 Economic Preview

01/2015 // This report projects another year of economic growth and recovery in 2015, reporting that Florida's economy will grow faster than the nation and Florida employment is expected to outpace the nation again in 2015.


Budget Watch - New GR Estimates Up $627 Million

12/2014 // According to this Budget Watch, lawmakers are expected to have $30.6 billion in General Revenue, plus unspent reserves, to create a state budget in 2015. An historic $30.6 billion budget would be $2.2 billion more than the current spending plan, an increase of 7.9 percent.


Touchdowns, Tackles, and Tax Revenue

12/2014 // Bowl games benefit Florida's economy best when they host out-of-state teams, since fans travel to stay in Florida hotels and are encouraged to spend time at Florida's theme parks, beaches and other attractions. Benefits of postseason bowl games include additional tax revenue, more money circulating through local and regional economies, and national exposure for host cities.


Annual Government Efficiency Recommendations - 2015

12/2014 // The Center for Government Efficiency defines government efficiency as the intersection of cost avoidance, targeted investments and effective governance, three characteristics that define the recommendations included in this year's report, which could save Florida taxpayers billions of dollars.


Palm Beach Renewable Energy Facility No. 2 Plan Raises Questions

12/2014 // In this report, TaxWatch examines a proposal facing the Palm Beach County Commission to allow out-of-county waste haulers to utilize their new renewable energy facility. TaxWatch was asked to examine the proposal by two County Commissioners


Smaller Schools, Not Smaller Classes

12/2014 // While Florida's $30 billion investment in smaller class sizes has not resulted in increased achievement for public school students, smaller schools promise a variety of education-related benefits. This report shows a variety of positive outcomes stemming from smaller schools rather than smaller class sizes.


2014 Annual Report

12/2014 // The 2014 Florida TaxWatch Annual Report: Bridging the Gap Between Taxpayers and Their Government


Florida's Retail Sales Growth Outpaces Nation

11/2014 // Florida retailers are expected to exceed 2013 holiday sales this year, according to this report; however, increased consumer spending may not benefit Florida retailers like it should due to a tax loophole.


Taxing Thanksgiving

11/2014 // Floridians have another reason to be thankful this holiday season: Florida is not one of the 14 states in the nation that tax groceries. While most food that Florida residents prepare themselves for a Thanksgiving feast is exempt, some of the items on dinner tables may be subject to the state's sales tax, ranging from six to 7.5 percent.


Time for Telehealth

11/2014 // Florida lawmakers need to act quickly to connect patients with higher quality, timely care by using telehealth to bring the state's health policies into the 21st century, according to recommendations from this report, which notes that policymakers should immediately pursue incremental adoption of telehealth policies during the 2015 session.


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