Keeping and Modernizing the Corporate Income Tax Will Best Serve Florida | Print |  E-mail
March 2015

Governor Rick Scott and legislative leaders are moving forward with a plan to cut corporate income tax revenues again after previous cuts in his first term. Action on these bills comes amid a renewed pledge by Scott to end the tax entirely, as he first proposed when inaugurated in 2011.

Relatively few businesses in Florida pay the tax, a huge proportion of which are very profitable corporations.

Both reducing collections from the tax and eliminating it would have undesirable effects.  Both would reduce income available to meet Florida's needs.  Secondly, any reduction would further skew Florida's tax system, leaving others to assume a greater share of the responsibility for funding vital state services, making Florida's unfair tax system even more unfair.

Eliminating the tax would allow profitable corporations, many of them multistate and multinational, to escape paying for the benefits they receive from state-funded services. 

A better alternative would be to modernize and strengthen the corporate income tax to make sure that profitable corporations pay their fair share and that other taxpayers don't bear a disproportionate share of the cost of state services.

> Read the report.

Census Data Show Florida Struggling to Recover from Recession | Print |  E-mail
September 2014

Florida’s poverty rate remained unchanged in 2013, median household income remained lower than before the Great Recession,and the state’s percentage of residents without health insurance was third-highest in the nation, the U.S. Census Bureau reported this week. The data from the American Community

Survey and Current Population Survey paint a picture of Florida still poorer than it was five years previously, despite the ongoing economic recovery.

> Read the report.

The Condition of Florida, 2014 | Print |  E-mail
August 2014

Florida is still recovering from the Great Recession. As expected in any recovery period, jobs are coming back, although too few to employ the same percentage of Floridians that had jobs before the recession.

State revenues are increasing now and are expected to climb each year into the foreseeable future. But policymakers have used much of that growth money to provide new tax breaks each legislative session instead of reinvesting in areas of the budget squeezed during the recession years.

Telling points: Florida ranks 49th in the nation in per capita state and local spending for education, but corrections is funded well enough to rank 23rd among the states. And the state ranks 43rd in a recent survey of quality of services for the elderly, disabled and their caregivers. The state ranks very low in other measures of well- being affected by state expenditures, as this report indicates.

> Read the report.

MAGI: The Other Change to Medicaid Eligibility and What It Means to Florida | Print |  E-mail
November 2013

Starting January 2014, Florida will begin using the concept of Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) when determining eligibility for its Medicaid and CHIP programs.

More than just a number, MAGI is a new method for counting and calculating income under the Affordable Care Act.

Specifically, MAGI will provide a basis for aligning, simplifying and streamlining eligibility across Medicaid, CHIP, and the Premium Tax Credits and Cost-Sharing Reductions available through the new Health Insurance Marketplace.

The "translation" between the current system and MAGI is not completely straightforward, however. In fact, as a result of the differences between the two systems, some Floridians who are Medicaid-eligible under current rules will become ineligible in 2014, even if nothing about their situation changes. On the other hand, some who are ineligible under current rules will be able to qualify once MAGI is implemented.

> Read the report.

Improving Fiscal Condition Allows Legislature to Address Previous Budget Cuts, Increase Tax Fairness | Print |  E-mail
November 2013

As legislative committees meet in preparation for the 2014 session that begins in March, lawmakers enjoy a much-improved state budget situation for their construction of a new state budget for the next fiscal year.

This fact provides legislators with the opportunity to take a fresh look at making investments in the future of Florida and assuring that the state's tax system is both fair and sufficient to meet state needs.

Now that the state is again showing a healthy balance of funds that are expected to recur and increase, a top priority should be investing again in the social infrastructure.

> Read the report.

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