A new report from Florida TaxWatch highlights the final status and fiscal implications of major legislation considered during the 2014 Legislative Session. The report, 2014 Legislative Wrap Up, analyzes bills aligning with Florida TaxWatch research and recommendations, and explains how they will impact taxpayers.
"Florida TaxWatch applauds the Legislature for prioritizing important reforms for Floridians this year that will save taxpayers' hard-earned dollars," said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog. "While the Legislature took up and passed many bills containing TaxWatch recommendations based on our independent analysis, we look forward to them returning to Tallahassee next year to continue advancing cost-saving reforms, such as pension reform and telemedicine expansion."
Several of the bills supported by TaxWatch that are highlighted in the report are bills to expand reentry and diversion programs to reduce the state's prison population, a measure to create an Agency for State Technology to oversee the state's IT spending, and a comprehensive tax cut package expected to save Florida taxpayers $500 million.
In addition to identifying measures passed by the Legislature during the 2014 Session, the report also identifies bills with a fiscal impact that were not sent to the Governor's desk. Several of these bills, supported by TaxWatch, include pension reform measures at the state and local levels, expanding access to health care through APRN and telemedicine expansion, and reducing the Communications Services Tax for Floridians, which can be greater than 16 percent in some parts of the state.
"Overall the Legislature filed and passed fewer bills during the 2014 Session than in any year since at least 2001, but many of them will result in a positive impact on Florida taxpayers," said Kurt Wenner, Vice President of Tax Research at TaxWatch. "One major positive Legislative effort was to provide tax relief for the hard working Floridians whose taxes were increased to pay for a budget deficit in 2009."
» Read the full report here: "2014 Legislative Wrap Up"
Florida TaxWatch is a statewide, non-profit, non-partisan research institute that over its 33-year history has become widely recognized as the watchdog of citizens' hard-earned tax dollars. Its mission is to provide the citizens of Florida and public officials with high quality, independent research and education on government revenues, expenditures, taxation, public policies and programs and to increase the productivity and accountability of Florida state and local government. Its support comes from homeowners and retirees, small and large businesses, philanthropic foundations, and professional associations. On the web at www.FloridaTaxWatch.org.