Local Government


As local governments are the recipient of a majority of Floridians' tax dollars, TaxWatch focuses on policies that have a tangible impact on each and every Floridian. 

Related Research

2017-18 Taxpayers Budget Pocket Guide

08/2017 // Florida TaxWatch is pleased to present taxpayers with a guide to the FY2017-18 state budget, which went into effect July 1, 2017. After deducting the Governor’s vetoes, the net result is FY2017-18 appropriations totaling $85.158 billion, a $2.9 billion (3.5%) increase over FY2016-17. 


Budget Watch - FY2017-18 GAA Only Tells Part of Florida's Budget Story

07/2017 // The 2017 Florida Legislature passed a $82.418 billion General Appropriations Act (GAA), already the largest in the state’s history. But this is not all the money appropriated this year. 


Finding the True Cost of Public Education

03/2017 // Per-student spending is an easy-to-use measure by which taxpayers can evaluate public school spending and efficiency. This report finds a more accurate number for taxpayers to use. 


Florida is Still a Donor State

09/2016 // Over the years, Florida TaxWatch has produced several reports examining how Florida fares, relative to other states, in receiving grants and aid from the federal government. Consistent with our past research, this new analysis shows Florida continues to receive far less than its fair share of federal grant dollars. 


2016 How Florida Counties Compare

08/2016 // This publication 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. 


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.  


Predatory Public Records Requests

01/2016 // This report examines abuses of the state's Public Records Act, focusing on predatory practices that take advantage of local governments, and use the power of litigation to profit off of the taxpayers. 


Budget Watch - What is the Cost of Florida's State and Local Government?

12/2015 // Florida’s has historically held the reputation of being a low-tax state, and that is largely true, especially at the state level. But taxes do not tell the whole story of what government costs its citizens. Taxes, especially those reported to the U.S. Census Bureau, exclude a large amount of revenue paid into government co ers by citizens. And that non-tax revenue accounts for a much higher portion of government total revenue in Florida than in the average state. A better measure of the cost of government is “own source revenue,” which Florida TaxWatch has been tracking in its How Florida Compares series. Own source revenue includes all direct revenue except for intergovernmental aid, revenue from government-owned utilities and other enterprises, and social insurance funds. It includes non-tax revenue such as fees, charges for services, special assessments, impact fees and net lottery revenue. 


Budget Watch - Governor's FY2016-17 Recommended Budget

12/2015 // Governor Rick Scott’s budget recommendations for FY2016-17 total $79.252 billion—an increase of 1.1 percent ($855.1 million) over current year spending. General Revenue (GR) spending of $29.260 billion would be an increase of 1.4 percent over the current year. The budget proposes to fund 112,823 state employee positions, 864 fewer than currently exist. 


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

10/2015 // 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. 


Economy Heating Up in South Florida

09/2015 // Over the past few years Florida’s economy has been on the rise, finally shaking off the economic pain from the great recession. This positive growth has helped stimulate development in South Florida in particular. In a recent survey, more than 80% of small businesses in South Florida reported that they expect to meet or exceed their 2015 revenue targets. And the economic growth is not limited to small businesses; the South Florida Region has also seen a growth in sectors such as construction, financial services, innovation, and more. 


Jacksonville Poised for Sustained Growth

06/2015 // Ask most people which city in the U.S. is the largest, and you will likely hear New York, or Los Angeles, or one of the other “major” cities around the country. The truth, however, is that the largest city in the country is Jacksonville, Florida, at 874.6 square miles. While the size of Jacksonville may not be well known, even fewer may realize that the city is a rising star of startup activity and job creation. 


Budget Watch - House and Senate Proposed Budgets

03/2015 // A more than $4 billion dollar difference between the House and Senate budget proposals is detailed in this annual analysis of the initial budgets, which shows that the largest point of contention between the chambers is in funding the health and human services portion of the budget. 


The Communication Services Tax: Time for a Change

02/2015 // Easing the tax burden for Florida families and businesses would also attract business investment, create Florida jobs and grow the state's information-based economy, according to this report, which highlights the state's Communications Services Tax, the fourth highest in the nation. 


Improving the Value of Florida's Enterprise Zone Program to Taxpayers

02/2015 // This report highlights several often overlooked benefits to the program, including that it is one of the only economic development programs available to retailers and that companies in Enterprise Zones provided necessary services to their communities, such as access to food and medications. 


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

Media Inquiries:  Contact Leah Courtney by Email or Phone: 850.212.5052

Media Inquiries:
Contact Leah Courtney by Email
or Phone: 850.212.5052