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Budget Watch - Budget Outlook for FY2017-18 Getting Tighter

08/2016 // Just as they did at their last conference in January, Florida’s revenue estimators reduced the state’s General Revenue (GR) projections. The GR Estimating Conference met on August 15, 2016 and reduced expected collections by $131.9 million in the current year (FY2016-17) and by $131.1 million for the next budget year (FY2017-18).


2016 Voter Guide - August

08/2016 // On August 30 and November 8, 2016, Floridians will vote on a total of five proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution. This Florida TaxWatch Voter Guide is designed to provide voters with information about each of the amendments to help them cast well-informed votes.


Budget Watch - Growing Federal Debt Puts the Nation at Risk

07/2016 // In dollars, America’s debt is forecast to reach an astonishing $87.9 trillion in 30 years. This is more than $200,000 for each of the 400 million men, women, and children expected to live in the United States in 2046. This Budget Watch looks at the long-term implications of such a debt.


Florida's 2016 Mid-Year Job Growth

07/2016 // This Economic Commentary looks at Florida's mid-year job growth figures, showing that the state has added approximately 244,500 non-farm jobs over the past year.


Locked Up then Locked Out

07/2016 // To decrease recidivism and increase the return on state investment in corrections, offenders need to be able to find jobs and keep them; however, there are several barriers to this goal. This paper addresses some of these barriers and makes policy recommendations.


How Florida Counties Compare

07/2016 // This guide compares the revenue and expenditure profiles of Florida’s 67 counties to give taxpayers an overview of how their local government stacks up with the rest of the state.


Budget Watch - Budget Process Underway for FY2017-18

06/2016 // The FY2017-18 budget process is now underway. The Governor’s office recently provided budget instructions to state agencies to use in formulating their legislative budget requests (LBRs), which are due on October 14. The Governor will then use the LBRs to develop his budget recommendations, which must be provided to the Legislature at least 30 days before the start (March 7) of the 2017 Legislative Session.


The Impact of a $15/hr Minimum Wage

06/2016 // In states across the nation, minimum wage policies continue to dominate political and economic discussions. Recently, two of the nation’s largest states, New York and California, have both passed laws that will gradually raise the minimum wage in those states to $15/hr. This report examines the potential impact of an abrupt raise of Florida's minimum wage to $15/hr.


Lower Costs & Less Crime

05/2016 // Florida can no longer rely on the outdated and inefficient policies of the past, and must begin to consider policies and practices that not only keep Floridians safe, but also address the two primary drivers of growth in the criminal justice system: overincarceration and recidivism. The recommendations detailed in this report, while by no means an exhaustive list of necessary improvements, aim to put Florida on the path to achieve these goals.


Taxpayer Independence Day 2016

04/2016 // Wednesday, April 20 Florida TaxWatch celebrates Florida Taxpayer Independence Day 2016: 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.


2016 Session Wrap-Up

04/2016 // This session saw a number of bills that advanced Florida TaxWatch recommendations become law. This publication is a final look at the legislation followed by TaxWatch this Session.


Unemployment Rate Is Not The Whole Story

03/2016 // One key metric that is widely overlooked in the unemployment rate discussion is the labor force participation rate (LFPR), which measures the percentage of the total population aged 16 and above who are currently employed or are unemployed and actively seeking employment. While overlooked, the LFPR is one of the most important metrics to understanding the overall landscape of the job markets.


2016 Budget Turkey Watch Report

03/2016 // Each year, the Budget Turkey Report consists of only a very small percentage of the state budget and this year represented just over 0.1 percent. The $82.3 billion budget passed by the Florida House and Senate on March 11, 2016 contains 143 appropriations items worth $104.9 million qualifying as Budget Turkeys.


2016 How Florida Compares: Taxes

03/2016 // Have you ever wondered how Florida’s taxes stack up against the taxes in other states? If so, this report is for you. The annual Florida TaxWatch How Florida Compares: Taxes report ranks Florida’s state and local taxes against those levied around the nation.


Pumping Savings into the Economy

02/2016 // There are very few products or services that impact, in one way or another, nearly every consumer in the United States. One product that does is gasoline. This Economic Commentary focuses on the impact of the reduction in oil prices on the U.S. and Florida consumers.


Welcoming the World

02/2016 // Tourism is vital to the economy of Florida, and with the recovery of the world economy, international travel across the world is reaching record highs. This, coupled with data showing the major positive impact international tourists have on economies, provides evidence that Florida should expand its efforts when it comes to attracting foreign visitors to the state.


Budget Watch - Proposed House and Senate Budgets for FY2016-17 are $1 Billion Apart

02/2016 // The House and Senate passed their respective state budgets for FY2016-17 with four weeks remaining in the 2016 Session. They will now go into the budget conference process to negotiate the differences. Conference meetings could start as early as this week (the week of February 22).


A Catalyst for Growth

02/2016 // This analysis finds that Florida’s competitive tax climate and welcoming weather entice businesses to our state, but Florida must provide targeted incentive packages that will help create high-paying jobs in the Sunshine State as we compete with other states for domestic and global business.


Building Florida's High-Tech Manufacturing Sector

02/2016 // As the global manufacturing industry shifts away from classically portrayed steel and car plants to a modernized approach of high-tech manufacturing; companies, countries, and states find themselves looking for a way to best position themselves to benefit from the future of manufacturing. Florida finds itself in a unique position to capitalize on an existing project that could help the state become a world leader in high-tech manufacturing for years to come.


Meeting Florida's Transportation Investment Needs

02/2016 // Florida continues to grow and is now the nation’s third largest state. After a slowdown during the Great Recession, Florida is on the rise again, and the state will add more than four million new residents by 2030. This report examines the expected needs of the transportation system across the state.


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