Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Florida Trend Exclusive
Tax Planning in Florida

At the end of 2012, approximately $500 billion in tax breaks will expire unless Congress takes action, but there’s still uncertainty about what federal legislators will do. Despite the uncertainty, experts say there are tax and estate planning strategies to implement before the end of the year.

Banking Fraud
Jerry Williams
Pride and a Fall: Naples Banker Jerry J. Williams

Was Jerry Williams too eager to save his bank -- or himself? Story.

Read our tax planning tips here and see more below from our Banking and Finance special report:

» More Shoes to Drop?: A handful of criminal charges have been filed in the aftermath of banking failures. More are likely to follow.

See also:
» Florida banking on the mend [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Report: Florida gets more federal funds than any other state

The Sunshine State is Uncle Sam's favorite. Florida receives more federal funds than any other state, both in total dollars and on a per capita basis. In fact, based on total volume, Florida's take is 50 percent higher than No. 2 Texas. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times and see the report.

Florida business sales have record July

Led by a resurgent building industry, Florida businesses’ sales jumped 9 percent in July. Overall, Florida’s $70.4 billion in total sales surpassed an old record of $68.6 billion set in July 2008, providing further proof that the state’s economy has finally recouped what it lost during the downturn. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Start-ups set sights on funding

While South Florida is home to great wealth, it’s not necessarily the kind that goes into startups. Many investors here have never invested in early-stage companies and don’t want to take the risk. And even when they do, it’s not necessarily “smart money,” leaders say. Ideally, robust tech ecosystems are rich with investors that share their tech expertise as well as their wealth to get startups going. [Source: Miami Herald]

Insurers say PIP changes likely to mitigate premium increases, for now

Auto insurance companies say the state's new no-fault auto insurance law will save drivers money by staving off insurance premium increases. But drivers shouldn't expect their insurance bill to dip immediately, either. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times and WTSP.


› In Delray, smokers need not apply
It's official. If you puff, you can't work — at least in Delray Beach. The city will no longer hire employees who regularly use tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, snuff or pipes. Smokers can cost a company or government agency an average of $12,000 a year in health and disability-related costs.

› Foreclosures fuel rising tensions between landlords and tenants
When you mix novice landlords with growing numbers of renters, the results are sometimes not pretty — especially in a housing market where eviction notices continue to land on foreclosed rental properties with some frequency.

› Sarasota Sheriff wants doctors to have patients sign away rights
Doctors who prescribe pain medications sometimes find themselves in a tough spot: they may want to report suspicious or clearly illegal behavior by patients, but they are prevented from doing so by the sweeping federal medical privacy law known as HIPPA. Administrators with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office thought they had found an easy way to learn more about medical patients who might be breaking the law to get pills.

› Plan for new launchpad worries environmentalists
New plans to convert an abandoned citrus town into a Space Coast rocket hub has triggered another round of fighting between environmentalists and the aerospace industry — and this time the rocketeers could have an edge.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Halloween stores pop up everywhere
It is never too early to spread some spooky holiday cheer. At least that is what seasonal retailers — taking a page from the “Christmas-sales-should-start-before-Thanksgiving” playbook — seem to be saying.

› Orlando raises taxi, tow company fees
The Orlando City Council approved stiff fee increases for taxi drivers and tow truck companies Monday. City commissioners also granted a request from the Orlando Magic to extend a one-year exclusive purchase option on a city-owned building across the street from the Amway Center arena.

› Gas prices continue to slide across Southeast
Motorists will see retail gas prices drop again this week after oil prices traded below $90 a barrel for the first time in almost two months, according to AAA.

› Cost to fix Crystal River nuclear plant could hit $3.43 billion, take eight years
Fixing the botched repairs at the Crystal River nuclear plant north of Tampa Bay could cost nearly $3.5 billion and take eight years, in a worst case scenario.
» Related column: State's highest court should end forced fees to pay for nuclear power plants