Governor Rick Scott was joined by Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey, Florida sheriffs and police chiefs to announce Florida’s crime rate dropped 4.7 percent compared to 2012, putting Florida at a 43-year crime low. The findings were based on the Uniform Crime Report. Read the full report here and see more from WESH and the Palm Beach Post.
As Cuba opens its market to private business and foreign investment, proponents of socially responsible enterprise are boosting their links with the island, offering assistance to build a new kind of hybrid economy that considers workers, the community and the environment in its developments. [Source: Cuba Standard]
Housing starts lead Florida's economy. More.
[Photo: Tampa Bay Times]
Over the last year, there have been an average of more than 4,600 housing starts monthly in our state. Privately-owned housing starts in Florida have grown, and are now more than double the rate of the recent low point in March 2009, when only 1,806 private single housing units were started in the entire state of Florida.
» Full report from Florida TaxWatch
Ever wonder why so many New Yorkers are in Florida? One word: Taxes. Florida is No. 4 as a low-tax state. Only Nevada, Alaska and Wyoming have lower tax loads, reports WalletHub. New York has the highest tax load in the nation. Put in dollar figures, the typical Floridian pays $3,648 in local and state taxes while the typical New Yorker pays $9,700. [Source: Florida Times-Union]
An emerging group of purchasers, called "boomerang buyers," are able to get back into the housing market under new, more forgiving lending guidelines. Some foreclosed owners are finding they can qualify for conventional mortgages within three years instead of the previous seven. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
» Fueling the next bubble? Boomerang buyers
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Florida’s Do Not Call list has grown since fee was eliminated [Miami Herald]
In the past two years, nearly 575,000 phone numbers have been added to the statewide Do Not Call list so that individuals are not bothered at home by telemarketers, solicitors and scammers.
› Gov. Scott backs growler legalization [AP]
The growler issue has been in the middle of a bitter fight between Florida's craft breweries and Budweiser distributors who only want the half-gallon growlers legalized in a bill that adds more regulation to the rapidly growing craft beer industry.
› Tampa bank loan growth outpaces U.S. average [Tampa Bay Business Journal]
The average loan growth for community national banks and federal savings associations in Tampa Bay was 7.1 percent in 2013, more than double that of the national average.
› Students take finance theories public [Miami Today]
Along with focusing on workforce development by preparing finance students for big-data analysis and supply-chain management, South Florida postsecondary schools are also taking the theories of finance outside the classroom.
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› UCF Joust Champions Win $10,000 Healthcare Business Competition [UCF Today]
Two University of Central Florida (UCF) undergraduate students took first place in the University of South Florida’s (USF) State of Florida Healthcare Innovation Competition. They received a cash price of $10,000 for their invention of Smartway, a female urinary device that also secured them the 2013 UCF Joust championship.
› Leaders urge Duke to invest in solar, energy efficiency [Tampa Bay Times]
More than two dozen local, state and federal officials called on Duke Energy to make solar and energy efficiency bigger priorities in the delivery of electricity.
› $50 million pump tandems to fight flooding? [Miami Today]
Of the 30 or so flood-control salinity barriers in South Florida, three or four usually can’t be used during high tide. To compensate, the South Florida Water Management District has a couple of options.
› Florida university opens TB lab in Haiti [AP]
The University of Florida on Wednesday opened a state-of-the-art lab in Haiti to train researchers to better understand and fight tuberculosis. The 1,500 square-feet facility will bring graduate students from outside Haiti to train Haitian technicians, who will then go on to work at the national laboratory.