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

Budget Watch - State Agencies Request Modest Increase in Spending

1/2015  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.

STATEMENT: Communications Services Tax Reduction

1/2015  A statement on the Governor's proposal to reduce the Communications Services Tax.

Cultivating Florida's Second Stage Companies

1/2015  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

1/2015  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.

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.

Budget Watch - Florida's Business Tax Climate Judged to be the Nation's 5th Best

11/2014  A new national report ranking Florida's business climate as 5th best in the nation highlights the state's strengths but may overstate the attractiveness of Florida's tax system, according to this Budget Watch. The ranking is from the Tax Foundation's 2015 Business Tax Climate Index, an annual publication that analyzes how tax structures compare across states.

Florida the Most Veteran-Friendly State

11/2014  Florida, home to more than 1.6 million veterans, has provided a number of tax and related benefits to veterans and their families, in an effort to become the most veteran-friendly state in the nation. To celebrate Veterans Day, Florida TaxWatch compiled a list of Florida's veteran-friendly policies.

Medical Tourism in Florida

10/2014  Already a capital of global tourism, Florida has an opportunity to bring even more tourists and more revenue to the state by investing in medical tourism, according to this report, which finds that patients visiting Florida from around the United States and the world for planned medical procedures could have a significant impact on the state economy and while improving residents' health care options.

Halloween in Florida: Are Taxes on Candy a Trick, or a Treat?

10/2014  This quick look at taxes on candy and other treats in Florida includes a look at how Florida compares to the rest of the US.

Florida’s Transportation System is Adding More Intermodal Components

10/2014  Florida is taking steps to handle more of the world's trade industry by expanding its intermodal centers, specialized facilities where goods are moved from one form of transportation to another, such as moving a shipping container from a ship to a train or from rail to truck.

Budget Watch - Small Surplus Projected for Next Florida State Budget

10/2014  Florida lawmakers are expected to have a small budget surplus when they come to Tallahassee in 2015. State economists have predicted that funding a continuation budget next year will leave $336.2 million in available General Revenue funds. This is the fourth surplus in four years, despite being less than half of the surplus in fiscal year 2013-14.

Florida's Aging Prisoner Problem

10/2014  Florida's prison population is rapidly increasing despite declining crime rates, and this report recommends options to prevent increasing costs from overwhelming taxpayers. The report warns that the steadily growing elderly prison population in state facilities will require more costly medical care, resulting in additional budget concerns for an already struggling Department of Corrections.

NorthWest Florida's Opportunities for Growth

9/2014  State and local economic development professionals, with help from the Florida Legislature, are working to diversify the Panhandle's economy using the area's transportation assets, skilled workforce, and natural coastlines. The Panhandle region is home to three seaports, six military installations, natural coastlines and 1.4 million permanent residents, creating major opportunities for growth in skilled manufacturing, trade and logistics, and tourism

2014 Voter Guide

9/2014  This nonpartisan guide is a resource for Florida voters which analyzes each of the three proposals appearing on the November 2014 ballot.

Budget Watch - Budget Outlook Becoming Clearer

9/2014  Florida's latest cycle of revenue and expenditure estimating conferences show that Florida is still in a healthy post-recession recovery; however, the conferences have resulted in forecasts with slightly tempered expectations. Generally, projections of revenues were reduced from the previous estimates, even though the funds are expected to continue to grow year over year.

INFOGRAPHIC - Labor Day 2014

9/2014  This infographic shows job growth in Florida over the past year.

Economic Commentary - College Football: An Economic Driver for Florida's Local Economies

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

Budget Watch - General Revenue Estimating Conference

8/2014  When the 2015 Legislature convenes in Tallahassee, it is expected to have nearly $30 billion in General Revenue to create the state budget for FY 2015-16. However, after this month's GR Estimating Conference, the new General Revenue projection is $141.6 million less than previously thought.

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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