Repealing Sales Tax Exemption on Bottled Water Would Have Positive Economic Impact on Florida | Print |  E-mail
April 2009

As Florida’s Legislature responds to the state’s fiscal crisis, the Florida Center for Economic and Fiscal Policy (FCEFP) urges legislators to employ a balanced approach: examining opportunities for cost savings and modernizing our tax policy to make it fairer while generating additional revenue. We published a report recommending a review of sales tax exemptions, exclusions and subsidies and suggested a number of items that should be repealed. Both the House and the Senate have held workshops to consider the 246 exemptions and subsidies in transactions currently removed from the sales and use tax base. Neither chamber has looked at the 121 services that are excluded.

 
News Release: Food Stamp Increase Begins Boosting Florida Economy | Print |  E-mail
March 2009

More than 1.8 million Floridians will receive an increase in food stamps Wednesday as part of the federal economic stimulus, generating about $380 million in economic activity in the state in the next six months, according to the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy.

 
Florida’s Fiscal Crisis – An Update | Print |  E-mail
March 2009

In December 2008 and February 2009, the Center released two reports1 describing Florida’s precarious budget situation and potential remedies to mitigate the damage to state programs that the projected revenue shortfalls and program cuts would cause (see www.fcfep.org). Since these reports were released, the situation has worsened. As noted in the reports, as new data became available, the revenue estimates linked to our recommendations would be revised and the budget shortfall would be updated.

 
Funding for Unemployment Compensation Program: Florida Should Take It, Not Leave It | Print |  E-mail
March 2009

Florida’s businesses and workers are both struggling during this time of severe economic stress. As of February 2009, Florida’s unemployment rate was 9.4%.1 – leaving more than 874,000 people unemployed out of a workforce of 9.2 million.2 It is anticipated that the state’s unemployment rate may increase to a peak of 10% or higher before it declines.3 As of March 2009, there were 290,000 laid off workers receiving state Unemployment Compensation benefits and another 106,000 receiving the federal extension benefits. However, under current law, an estimated 83,000 of them will lose their eligibility for all benefits by the end of June 2009.4 Florida also has numerous part-time workers, especially seasonal workers and women who were laid off from low wage jobs and who are still unemployed. The majority of them receive no benefits from the Unemployment Compensation program, due to the manner Florida uses to establish eligibility.

 
Legislative Alert: Florida’s Budget Problems Worsen | Print |  E-mail
March 2009

On Friday, March 13, 2009, a revenue estimating conference was held to determine the status of General Revenue funds to meet the commitments of the current fiscal year (2008-09) and to estimate the General Revenue funds available for appropriation by the Legislature for the next fiscal year (2009-10). Conference principals included the legislative Office of Economic and Demographic Research, the Florida Senate, the Florida House and the Department of Revenue. The results of the conference, although not unexpected, were nonetheless disappointing.

 
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