Good Corporate Citizens Can Renegotiate Deals That Hurt Schools, Taxpayers | Print |  E-mail
May 2012

Financial institutions with multimillion-dollar contracts with school districts and other public agencies – particularly banks bailed out from their losing speculative practices by federal tax money – should act as good corporate citizens and renegotiate one-sided contracts that impair the education of Florida’s children.

> Read the report about interest rate swaps.

Florida’s Tax System Highlighted On Federal Income Tax Day | Print |  E-mail
April 2012

The deadline for filing federal income tax returns serves as a reminder of a distinction Florida shares with only six other states: imposing no state personal income tax.

The absence of the tax is appreciated by most Floridians. But it has consequences on Florida's tax structure, affecting who pays for public services and whether the revenue generated by the tax system is adequate to meet state needs.

In summary, Florida is a low-tax state, rated the second-worst in the nation, inadequate to meet the need for public services, and worsened by subsidies and tax breaks to large, profitable corporations.  It would be made even worse by elimination of the corporate income tax.

Keeping that tax and modernizing the state's antiquated tax system would best serve Florida.

> Read the report.

Tax Breaks Continue Despite Revenue Shortfall | Print |  E-mail
March 2012

Even though the Florida Legislature faced a shortfall of revenue needed to continue paying for current services, it passed an assortment of tax cuts that will diminish state funds even more in the future. In addition, it provided other tax breaks to businesses, continued the expansion of the tax-financed private school voucher program, and appropriated more than $100 million for subsidies for businesses promising new jobs.

The reduction in funds through tax cuts and subsidies was accompanied by a $300 million cut to universities and hospitals and nursing homes, whose payments were cut for the fifth consecutive year. The dollars forgone through tax cuts could have been appropriated to lessen those and other budget cuts imposed by the legislature.

> Read the report.

Florida’s Claims About Medicaid Expansion Under ACA Are Inflated | Print |  E-mail
March 2012

With Florida's and other states' challenge of the Affordable Care Act scheduled for U.S. Supreme Court arguments next week, the argument that the law imposes a crushing financial burden on states invites examination.

The State of Florida's estimates of its costs resulting from the ACA are hyper-inflated, and they appear to have been specifically crafted to support a political position rather than provide a backdrop for planning purposes.

In  fact, the federal government will pay 100 percent of the costs of Medicaid expansion for three years and 90 percent or more every year of the first 10 years of the act.  Meanwhile, about 1 million Floridians previously without health insurance or saddled with inexpensive or inadequate insurance will be covered.  And by 2022-2023, Florida will have received an estimated $20.3 billion in additional federal Medicaid funding from the federal government.  Each dollar of Medicaid expansion-related state spending over the 10-year period will leverage an additional $9.51 in federal funding, directly stimulating the economy and increasing jobs.

> Read the report.

Legislature Advances Tax Breaks Despite Revenue Inadequate for Critical State Services | Print |  E-mail
March 2012

The Florida Legislature moved closer this week to enacting $125 million in special-interest tax breaks even as it finalizes a state budget balanced only by deep funding cuts for state universities, hospitals, and nursing homes.

In addition to the business tax cuts, the legislature is considering new direct appropriations for sporting events in the name of economic development: $1 million to the Central Florida Sports Commission "for securing the Major League Soccer combine and spring training" and another $1 million for the "World Class International Regatta Sports Center" in Sarasota.

Tax cuts and other giveaways reduce revenue available to meet critical state needs in public schools, colleges and universities, healthcare, and social services. Each dollar given away takes money away from those state responsibilities. They also add to the billions of dollars already lost each year through the hundreds of exemptions, exclusions, deductions, and credits in Florida's tax laws.

> Read the report.

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