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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

The Tax Man catches up to small business owners

Federal and state tax collectors are cracking down on small business owners who aren’t paying their fair share of taxes. States are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on big data and other initiatives to beat the tax cheats and collect the billions they’re owed. More from the Fiscal Times and Businessweek.


Florida House race could be warning for Democrats

After months of railing against President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, Republicans scored a key victory in a hard-fought congressional race that had been closely watched as a bellwether of midterm elections in November. More from the AP and the Tampa Bay Times.


Obamacare enrollment surges in Florida

After a troubled start, Floridians are enrolling in Obamacare insurance plans in droves, reaching a total of 442,087 as of March 1, federal officials disclosed on Tuesday. The number has nearly tripled since the end of last year but still amounts to less than half of the 990,455 state residents considered eligible for the new marketplace. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the AP.


With mishaps in the past, cruise industry CEOs optimistic

With a couple of tumuluous years in the rearview mirror, the leaders of the world’s largest cruise companies are focusing on introducing new audiences to their product both in the United States and around the world. [Source: Miami Herald]


Are retailers missing a huge profit opportunity by keeping wages too low?

The fight for low-skilled higher wages is being fought on many fronts, from a legislative push for raising the minimum wage to protests of fast food chains. One of the approaches that advocates have taken is to argue that increasing wages actually means more profit for businesses. [Source: Forbes]


ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

Dolphins owner braves a property-tax battle
The new stadium upgrade plan by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross scrambled the political scorecard Tuesday as a bitter foe sounded supportive and past allies questioned the team’s pursuit of relief from property taxes.

› Frost Museum's new chief scientist talks about innovation
As a new science museum rises from the ground in downtown Miami, its new chief science director is making plans to connect with the business community.

› Arcade-game 'fix' draws questions in Tallahassee
An attempt to clear up confusion over laws regulating arcade games may create even more problems, possibly opening the door for a resurgence in store-front casinos and senior arcades.

› Tampa Bay ranks among most affordable metro areas
Tampa Bay landed at No. 18 on the new Forbes list of the most affordable large U.S. metro areas. Forbes says the three most affordable metro areas are Buffalo, Memphis and Cincinnati Ohio.


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› IRS scam surfacing in Northeast Florida
With tax season kicking in to gear, so does the threat of tax-related scams, with one showing a recent surge on the First Coast. The Northeast Florida Better Business Bureau says over the last 2-3 days, more than half a dozen people have reported getting a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS.

› Red Lobster spinoff would bring large debt, filing says
A Red Lobster spin-off company would assume significant debt as part of the deal, according to documents filed with federal regulators. The filing by Orlando-based Darden Restaurants did not give specifics but said Red Lobster Seafood Co. "will be a highly leveraged company."

› Palm Beach County leads state in insurance customers barred by Citizens clearinghouse
More Palm Beach County residents are being shut out of state-run insurer Citizens than those of any other county in the early going for a new clearinghouse, company officials said Tuesday.

› Odyssey Marine Exploration turns a profit in the fourth quarter
Tampa treasure hunting firm Odyssey Marine Exploration salvaged a profit out of its fourth quarter, buoyed by the sale of silver it recovered from the SS Gairsoppa shipwreck off the coast of Ireland.