April 24, 2024

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/16/2024

Study: Red tide costs Florida tourism economy billions

In recent weeks, two studies came out looking at economic impacts of red tide.They found that both coasts each lost at least a billion tourism dollars. Surprisingly, the state saw greater impacts to tourism dollars when red tide levels were beginning compared to their peaks. “Traditionally we look at billion-dollar disasters as things like hurricanes, wildfires, things that will destroy a lot of property,” said UCF natural resource economist, Dr. Sergio Alvarez. “Red tide is different, because red tide doesn’t really destroy property, but it definitely destroys this business opportunity.” [Source: WFTX]

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Hurricane forecasters release report on Idalia. Here are 5 things to know.

Hurricane Idalia — the only storm to make landfall in the United States last hurricane season — caused about $3.6 billion in damage and killed a dozen people, according to a final report about the storm that was released by the National Hurricane Center this week. The report lays out the life and demise of Idalia, including that the storm peaked at a Category 4 before weakening at landfall on Aug. 30. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Judge rejects part of elections law challenge

A federal judge this week rejected part of a challenge to a 2023 Florida elections law that prevents people with certain felony convictions from “collecting or handling” voter-registration applications. Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker on Monday agreed with the state’s arguments that the League of Women Voters of Florida had not shown it has legal standing to challenge the felon restriction in the law, which also placed a series of other restrictions on voter-registration groups. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Economist says Florida has an upside down tax system

Florida has one of the nation’s most regressive tax systems with low-income families paying nearly five times as much as the wealthy, according to a report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). A regressive tax means people who make less pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes when compared to high-income groups. [Source: WFSU]


› Rising costs sinking big projects in Downtown Jacksonville
Two of the biggest Downtown property developments on the Northbank have fizzled due to increased costs of construction and difficulties obtaining large-project financing, according to the chief executive of the Downtown Investment Authority. In an interview with the Jacksonville Daily Record, DIA CEO Lori Boyer said the city-owned sites of the proposed American Lions tower and Hardwick at Ford on Bay may be put back up for disposition – offered up for new redevelopment proposals, in other words.

› Orlando may extend moratorium for new downtown nightclubs
The city of Orlando may extend its moratorium on new nightclubs in the downtown area. Orlando City Council on Feb. 19 will consider an extension of a pause on new nightclub development in the city which first was implemented March 20 last year. The ordinance was extended on Aug. 14 and set to expire March 20 this year, but if the city extends it, it will expire Sept. 20.

› With rising rents and low wages, how will Broward address housing affordability?
Broward County is seeking to address the burden faced by residents as officials prepare to release their 10-year master housing plan next week. Broward County commissioners met in December to discuss ways the county could help its nearly 2 million residents live comfortably while ideally paying less than one-third of their incomes on housing.

› St. Petersburg vote on Rays stadium deal delayed until May
A vote on whether to approve St. Petersburg’s deal with the Tampa Bay Rays and its development partner Hines for a new stadium and surrounding redevelopment won’t happen until at least May. St. Petersburg on Thursday confirmed that its timeline posted online, which has those agreements coming before the council in “early 2024,″ would have to be pushed back.

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