The State's Budget- Two Opposing Views of How Florida Spends Its Money
Are We Tightwads... Or Big Spenders?
Are We Tightwads ...
[Illustrations: Jeff Papa]
"The state government budget is really a public investment portfolio for all citizens and businesses. Each of us is providing tax money to the state to invest on our behalf for the things we want or need. When somebody's investing on our behalf, they should be telling us what are the pros and cons of reducing our investment in that."
— Glenn W. Robertson, president, Glenn W. Robertson & Associates consulting firm, Tallahassee, former director of state planning and budgeting and director of policy and finance
For all the talk of wasteful government spending, the state budget as a percentage of Florida's Gross State Product is lower now than in 1999.
Compared to Other States ...
> Florida's expected $3.6 billion-plus budget gap
is less than 6% of revenue.
> Illinois, which has a $13-billion deficit, in January jacked up the state's individual income tax rate by 2 percentage points and its corporation tax by 2.2 points.
> California has a $25-billion deficit that Gov. Jerry Brown says will necessitate massive cuts to services and higher education along with sales and income tax increases.
Bang for the Buck
Florida has the lowest state-employee-to-resident ratio in the country. Per capita spending on state employees is also the lowest in the country.
|Year||Florida’s Budget||State Government Workforce|
|Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis|