TaxWatch Research

Highly respected. Credible. Independent. That’s Florida TaxWatch research. 

Every year for the past 34 years, the Florida TaxWatch team has produced numerous comprehensive and relevant public policy research publications in a variety of formats, all designed to generate positive fiscal and economic results and to keep Florida TaxWatch members and policymakers informed.
TaxWatch has a historical understanding of government, public policy issues, and the battles fought in the past necessary to structure effective solutions for the future. We frame the public debate going forward. Florida TaxWatch research exemplifies the power of knowledge, strategically placed and integrated at the right time, the right place, in the right manner, with the right people to help accomplish great things for the taxpayers of Florida.

 It’s Research that Gets Results!

Research By Issue

TaxWatch Publications

Economic Commentary - College Football: An Economic Driver for Floridas Local Economies

8/2014  On the precipice of college football kickoff, this report highlights the economic benefits of Floridas seven Division I NCAA football teams, and explains how football programs increase revenue for schools and the state as a whole.

Unpacking the Benefits of Florida Tourism

8/2014  Investment in Floridas tourism industry resulted in nearly 76,000 jobs created in 2013, according to this report. The independent analysis shows that the state should meet the goal of attracting 100 million visitors to Florida by 2015, which has a significant impact on job creation in the state.

Seaport Governance Models

7/2014  Florida seaports are performing very well under a decentralized governance model, managing and meeting their local needs while implementing a state level strategy to holistically enhance Floridas economic climate, according to this joint report from Florida TaxWatch and the Florida Ports Council.

INFOGRAPHIC: 2014 Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

7/2014  From August 1-3, Floridians will save nearly $40 million in taxes while they shop tax-free for back-to-school supplies. Florida families can purchase clothing, school supplies, and even computers up to $750 tax-free. This infographic shows the estimated savings for taxpayers over the history of this annual tax holiday.

Legislation Affecting Florida Revenues

7/2014  All the bills passed by the 2014 Legislature have now been evaluated by the state's revenue estimators, resulting in a revenue reduction of more than $550 in the current fiscal year. Local revenues will be reduced by $41.5 million and $37.0 million. Despite the declining revenue estimates, the reduction still leaves $1.65 billion in general revenue reserves for the fiscal year, according to the July Budget Watch.

Economic Commentary: Florida's Mid-Year Job Growth

7/2014  Florida's job growth is steadily improving according to this report, which analyzes job growth data and shows higher job creation numbers for Florida than in the previous year, indicating a healthier state economy.

Ready for Takeoff: Florida Can Lead the Nation in Aircraft Manufacturing

7/2014  Floridas booming aircraft manufacturing industry is helping to diversify the state, according to a new report. The report, Ready for Takeoff: Florida Can Lead The Nation In Aircraft Manufacturing, shows that Florida is the most attractive state for aircraft manufacturing, illustrated by the number of industry companies relocating to the state.

Florida's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Production

6/2014  Florida's favorable agricultural climate positions the state as the second largest produce exporter in the nation, according to a new report, which finds that the farming and processing of Florida produce contributes more than $7.5 billion to the state economy.

Buying in: An analysis of international homebuyers in Florida

6/2014  International home purchasers play an integral role in Florida's housing market, according to this analysis of home sales. This report highlights the nations that have the highest amount of home purchases in the Sunshine State, and projects future home sales.

The Rise of Commuter Rail in Florida

5/2014  Commuter train projects in Florida have generated some economic activity and job growth in Central and South Florida, though major concerns exist for taxpayers around the state, according to this Economic Commentary. The report highlights Orlandos new SunRail project and South Floridas All Aboard Florida commuter rail line, expected to begin operating in 2016.

2014 Budget Turkey Report

5/2014  This years Budget Turkey Report finds $120 million in projects slipped into the budget without a full and transparent review.

2014 Legislative Wrapup

5/2014  The 2014 Session has come to a close, and this Florida TaxWatch report details all of the issues that we followed this year.

2014 Taxpayer Independence Day

4/2014  Florida taxpayers have a reason to celebrate on Tuesday, April 22nd. The date marks Taxpayer Independence Day as estimated by Florida TaxWatch. April 22nd, 2014, is the first day in the calendar year that Florida taxpayers, on average, will begin earning income that does not go toward federal, state and local taxes.

Florida's Home Construction Recovery

4/2014  Increased demand for new home construction is evidence that Florida is continuing its strong recovery from the Great Recession, according to this report. Housing starts are a leading economic indicator which reflects increased consumer demand.

FY2014-15 House and Senate Budget Comparison

4/2014  This BudgetWatch report compares the FY2014-15 House and Senate budgets in each spending area, and shows the change versus the current fiscal year.

Over-Criminalization in Florida

4/2014  Florida could save significant corrections costs by reducing prison sentences for nonviolent offenders, according to data analysis in this report. The report calls for the state to review options to reduce the prison population through downgrading offenses and implementing alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent, level one and two offenders.

Florida's Looming Alzheimer's Crisis

4/2014  The number of Floridians affected with Alzheimers is expected to grow by nearly 50 percent in the next decade, putting a strain on Florida's health care system and increasing costs for taxpayers, according to this report from Florida TaxWatch. The report calls for additional research into Alzheimers to prepare for the states aging population and to seek a viable preventative treatment.

STATEMENT: TaxWatch Commends Governor and Legislature for Reducing Vehicle Registration Fees

4/2014  Florida TaxWatch commends the Legislature for passing and Governor Scott for signing the first tax relief bill of the 2014 Legislative Session to reduce vehicle registration fees for all Floridians. This good bill will put up to $25 back in the pockets of each Florida driver and is a great way to make sure all Floridians benefit from broad tax relief. As a part of Governor Scotts "Its Your Money Tax Cut" that has been wisely embraced by the Legislature, reducing these vehicle registration fees will save Floridians $394.5 million annually.

Comparing the House, Senate and Governor Tax Cut Proposals

4/2014  The competing House and Senate tax cut proposals have many differences that need to be worked out, but there are beneficial provisions in both plans, according to this report, which compares the three proposals suggested by the Florida House, Senate and Governor Rick Scott to provide $500 million in tax cuts during the 2014 Legislative Session.

Commercializing Florida's Public Research

3/2014  Florida's universities and research institutes are creating of some of the states most advanced technologies, but one Florida Institute is helping to bring them to the masses. The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research, highlighted in this Economic Commentary, invests in developing companies using the latest products and processes invented at Florida's publicly-funded universities and research institutes.

Taking a Fresh Look at Florida's Class Size Limits

3/2014  Since voters approved a 2002 Constitutional Amendment to reduce class sizes, taxpayers have spent more than $27 billion (including capital facilties and operating costs) to comply with the law, despite research that shows smaller class sizes do not result in higher achievement levels for students in grades 4-12. According to this report, changing the calculations for determining class size restrictions would better serve students and could save taxpayers $10 billion over ten years.

Putting the Trust Back in Trust Funds

3/2014  In the second yearly installment of the TaxWatch look at the issue of Trust Fund sweeps, this report looks at two consecutive years of sweeps from various funds, and recommends a separate bill for each desired sweep by the Legislature.

When it Costs More to Pay Less

3/2014  Florida's Assistant State Attorneys and Assistant Public Defenders are significantly undercompensated, as shown in findings from this research report. The new report analyzes Assistant State Attorney and Assistant Public Defender pay across each of Florida's judicial circuits and finds that their low pay contributes to high turnover rates, causing delays in judicial processing and increased taxpayer investment in new employee training, costing taxpayers more than $15 million annually.

Statement: TaxWatch Stands Behind APRN Report

3/2014  Florida TaxWatch released a statement from Robert E. Weissert, Esq., Chief Research Officer and General Counsel, standing firmly behind a recent briefing outlining the debate between Florida’s health care practitioners. The statement addresses concerns, already refuted in the report, raised by a special interest group opposed to removing practice restrictions on the 15,000 Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in Florida.

March 2014 Budget Watch

3/2014  Already enjoying what is called a more than $1 billion budget surplus to appropriate during the 2014 Legislative Session, lawmakers were given another $150 million by the latest General Revenue (GR) Estimating Conference. This Budget Watch report for this coming fiscal year examines the latest round of estimating conferences by state economists and recommends that the Legislature still consider this a tight budget year and continue to implement cost-saving reforms such as those identified by the TaxWatch Center for Government Efficiency.

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Cost Savings Task Force 

TaxWatch has consistently produced a menu of original solutions designed to create greater accountability in Florida's government.


Archived Research

TaxWatch has a long history of taxpayer-centered research, going back to 1979. Our Archive houses everything prior to 2009. 

Other Publications

From time to time, TaxWatch will publish papers by those not on our staff, letters from elected officials, speeches, and other non-research pieces. 

Morgan McCord        
Communications Coordinator

106 N. BRONOUGH ST., TALLAHASSEE, FL 32301     |     TEL: 850.222.5052     |     FAX: 850.222.7476