Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today.
Bill to tax online purchases could mean more tax cuts for Florida businessesFlorida lawmakers voted to move forward a proposal that would force online-only companies—and people who buy goods on the Internet—to pay the state’s 6-percent sales tax. Once shunned by conservative legislators averse to new taxes, the bill has been packaged in a new “revenue neutral” form, meaning whatever money brought in by new taxes would be offset by tax cuts. Until now, it was widely believed that the money would go back to consumers in a new tax holiday. However, a new amendment to the bill’s language allows for Tallahassee lawmakers to decide who gets the break. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
In 1995, best friends Andy Sherrard and Danny Stevens — single guys who'd never had children, never worked with them, never even studied kids in college — conceived a childcare "super center" for families, offering multiple recreational and educational classes at an all-inclusive membership rate.
» O2B Kids
Scientists hope transplants will revive coral reef
Marine scientists on Friday plan to begin transplanting about 100 basketball-size corals from an onshore nursery to a damaged reef off the shores of Fort Lauderdale.
The transplant, among the first of its kind, will be closely watched to determine whether corals that grow quickly in tanks on land can be used to restore severely depleted reefs that line the coast from the Florida Keys through Palm Beach County. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Authenticity restored at Edison lab
This is not the kind of tidy museum with a nice historical artifact over here and colorful educational signs over there.
After a $900,000 restoration, the Edison Botanic Research Laboratory is packed, almost to the point of being cluttered, with test tubes, beakers, rubber tubes, flasks, cork stoppers, pipettes, graduated cylinders and various scientific apparatuses, including a Soxhlet extractor — Thomas Edison could roll up his sleeves and get to work in the place.
[Source: Fort Myers News-Press]
Retirement plans? Don't forget about state, local taxes.
Warm weather makes Florida a popular retirement destination — but a lack of taxes on retirement benefits and estates makes it a smart destination too. “As more and more baby boomers are reaching retirement age, they’ll have many factors to consider in choosing where to live in retirement,” said CCH, an international accounting company, in a report last week. “Taxes are one of the things they should consider when determining the costs of different areas they are looking at.” [Source: Christian Science Monitor]
Renewable advocates split on Florida energy bills
Advocates of conservation and renewable sources such as solar and biomass are split over what sponsors are calling "modest" energy legislation in the belief that even a small start would cause those efforts to snowball.
Out of the Box