March 2, 2021

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 1/25/2021

Honor system failure; Florida one of two states not collecting sales tax from all remote sellers

Of the 45 states with a sales tax, only Florida and Missouri don’t demand that all e-commerce companies collect and turn over sales tax money – giving some online businesses what critics say is an edge over storefront retailers, who are hurting even more in the current, virus-wracked economy. State analysts say Florida could pull in roughly $500 million annually if it changed the law and made all online retailers collect and turn in state sales tax, scrapping the honor system. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Florida jobless rate dips slightly in December as 18,000 fewer in state considered unemployed

Florida’s jobless rate dipped 0.2 percentage points in December amid what state officials said is growing economic confidence as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The state Department of Economic Opportunity on Friday announced a 6.1 percent unemployment rate, down from 6.3 percent in November. The new rate reflected 614,000 Floridians qualifying as being out of work in December — down 18,000 from a month earlier — out of a workforce of more than 10.14 million. [Source: News Service of Florida]

What does Joe Biden’s coronavirus plan mean for Florida? Here’s 6 things to know.

President Joe Biden ran on beating the coronavirus. After nearly a year of what Biden has characterized as a national failure to contain the virus — America ranks 12th in most deaths per capita — the federal government says it’s stepping up the response. Biden issued a blizzard of executive orders aimed at curbing the virus’ spread, many of which originated in his coronavirus campaign plan. See how those orders will affect Florida. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Tax season kicks off Feb. 12. Here’s what to expect

Tax season can be frustrating and tedious even in the best of times. This year, you can bet on it being even worse. Because of the pandemic, many people will be forced to meet virtually with their tax experts to calculate the numbers. Meanwhile, IRS backlogs mean millions of filers could start work on their 2020 federal return before the agency has processed their return from 2019. And those who qualified for stimulus relief because of the collapse of the economy will have to wonder how that affects their taxes, as well. [Source: Miami Herald]

Another disaster preparedness sales tax ‘holiday' proposed

A Senate Republican on Friday filed a bill that would provide a sales-tax “holiday” around the start of hurricane season for people who buy disaster-preparedness supplies. The proposal would allow people to avoid paying sales taxes on a series of items, such as portable generators costing $750 or less, tarps costing $50 or less, packages of batteries costing $30 or less and food coolers costing $30 or less. [Source: News Service of Florida]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Famous wrestling event chooses Tampa Bay area for big show
WrestleMania will return to the Tampa Bay area in April, the parent company of the annual “pop culture extravaganza” has announced. Stamford, Conn.-based WWE says WrestleMania 37 will be held April 10 and April 11 at Raymond James Stadium. “The opportunity for Tampa Bay to host WrestleMania in April is, in true WWE fashion, the perfect comeback story and marks a clear indication that our beautiful city is poised to bounce back stronger than ever,” says Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, in a statement.

› Moishe Mana lands Silicon Valley group for his long-planned Flagler District
Moishe Mana is getting in on Miami’s tech act. The longtime developer is announcing Bay Area tech group Plug and Play will open an office in his long-planned Flagler District. The company will be part of what he’s calling MANA Common, a “creative community” centered around art and tech along the Flagler corridor.

› Black Owned Florida Businesses Eye Aid Introduced in Biden Spending Plan
President Joe Biden’s new American Rescue Plan breaks down ways the administration plans to further help those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of that $1.9 trillion plan is to include flexible grants to aid struggling small businesses. Alex Minor, who represents Black Business Orlando, says continued aid is much needed, especially for black owned businesses.

› Ultra Music Festival has been canceled again due to COVID. Organizers hoping for 2022
Can electronic music fans go another year without an Ultra Music Festival fix? Apparently, they are going to have to. For the second year in a row, citing COVID-19 concerns, organizers for the popular DJ techno fest have pulled the plug on the Bayfront Park event that would have happened in March in downtown Miami.

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