Florida TaxWatch Report
TaxWatch analyzes Governor Scott's proposed budget
The latest Budget Watch Report from Florida TaxWatch analyzes and explains Governor Rick Scott's proposed $77 billion budget plan for FY 2015-16.
"We are pleased to present our annual review of the Governor's budget recommendations to help taxpayers understand what it is in the 350 page budget proposal and how the spending plan will affect them," said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit public policy research institute and government watchdog. "Understanding the state budget is critical for citizens to be truly informed about their government.
In addition to the Budget Watch series, which reports on Florida's budget process throughout the year, we encourage taxpayers to review our two-page primers on different Florida government programs, to learn what the budget funds and why."
The report highlights important spending issues and analyzes proposed tax cuts and cost savings recommendation, and shows how the budget will impact the general revenue fund. It also compares the proposed budget, by agency, to both current year expenditures and the agency legislative budget requests.
The proposed budget contains tax cuts, forward-thinking investments and efficiency improvements recommended in Florida TaxWatch research. One of tax cuts included in the $673 million package is the reduction of the state portion of the Communications Services Tax. Florida's statewide Communications Services Tax levy is the highest in the nation. In addition to calling for a reduction in the Communications Services Tax, Florida TaxWatch has also recommended that the Legislature eliminate the sales tax on commercial leases.
"The Governor's budget includes smart investments like cutting taxes, while increasing spending on things that are important to Floridians, such as education and the environment, and still maintains healthy reserves," said Kurt Wenner, Vice President of Research of Florida TaxWatch. "Florida TaxWatch will continue to urge the Governor and the Legislature to include other cost savings and policy improvements in the final budget, such as those included in the 2015 Florida TaxWatch Government Efficiency report, which will result in billions of dollars of savings for Florida taxpayers for years to come."
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.