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. Florida’s state tax collections per capita is nearly the lowest in the nation, higher than only New Hampshire, but when all state and local “own source revenues” are included, providing a more complete picture of overall government revenues, Florida ranks 38th nationally per capita.
Whatever the metric of government revenues, whether tax collections or own source revenues, when local revenues are included in the calculation, Florida’s comparative ranking is higher than when only state revenues are compared. Florida’s “Per Capita State Own Source Revenue” ranking is 48th (see p. 20); Florida’s combined “Per Capita State & Local Own Source Revenue” ranking is 38th (see p. 8). Florida’s “Total Per Capita State Tax Collections” ranking is 49th (see p.21); Florida’s “Per Capita State & Local Tax Collections” ranking is 45th (see p. 11).
Florida’s state and local revenue ranking was much higher leading into the recession, ranking 22nd in 2006. However, falling property values in Florida, along with continuing
low state taxes, has caused the ranking to drop (see page 8). Looking at local revenues alone, Florida’s ranking fell from 6th to 11th over the same period. With property value climbing again, it is likely Florida’s rankings will climb as well (see page 40).