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Published on Thursday, March 10, 2016

Floridians’ Tax Burden Remains Complex Mix of Low State Taxes and Higher Local Taxes

The state's local and state combined tax burden is ranked 38th in the nation.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Floridians’ tax burden remains lower than most states, despite local government taxes that are higher than average, according to the 2016 edition of Florida TaxWatch’s How Florida Compares: Taxes.  The report helps Floridians understand how state revenues stack up against the rest of the nation.

“We hope this comprehensive report will help taxpayers and policymakers better understand how states fund their governments,” said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog. “Because Florida relies more on local governments to fund public services than all but one state and uses non-tax revenues more than most states, it is imperative to look at the whole picture of revenue collection when comparing the cost of government.”

Based on the most recent data, Floridians’ per capita state tax burden rose to 48th nationally and its per capita revenue ranking fell to 49th, the lowest per capita revenue ranking since Florida TaxWatch has tracked it. While the state does have relatively low state tax burdens, more than half of Florida’s revenue collections come from local governments. The report shows that Florida’s local governments raise 53.2 percent of all Florida government revenue, which is the third highest percentage in the nation. Florida’s local tax burden ranks 14th nationally. When one combines state and local taxes, Floridians’ tax burden for 2013 ranks 38th out of 50 states, two spots lower than in 2012.

The report also finds that Florida’s biggest moneymaker, the general sales tax, is seeing a jump in revenue collections. As the state economy continues to improve and Floridians are spending more of their money, per capita sales tax collections increased by $84 from FY2012 to FY2014, elevating the ranking to 9th nationally.

To read this year’s edition of How Florida Compares: Taxes, please click here.

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Author: TaxWatch Staff

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Contact Leah Courtney by Email
or Phone: 850.212.5052