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Thursday's Daily Pulse

In Florida, 99% of companies pay no corporate income tax

Florida has what national experts say is one of the easiest-to-avoid corporate income taxes in the nation. An estimated 99 percent of all businesses in Florida no longer pay any corporate income tax at all. Florida’s elected leaders have repeatedly rejected changes that could stop these tactics. They have also chosen to let loopholes remain in place even after they have been flagged by legislative staffers, auditors and judges.[Source: Orlando Sentinel]

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» Big businesses cut their Florida taxes by using income-shifting strategies

Florida Trend Exclusive
How Florida companies can protect themselves from ransomware attacks

A rash of ransomware attacks in Florida offers some lessons in cyber-security for business and government. More than two-thirds of ransomware attacks target businesses but between April and June, at least five Florida municipalities were hit with paralyzed their systems and collectively cost their insurers nearly $1 million. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Business Florida 2020: Positioned for success

Seeking wide open spaces and ready proximity to suppliers and key customers? South Central Florida has both. Three interstate highways, four U.S. highways and the Okeechobee Waterway, a system of navigable rivers and canals linking Florida’s east and west coasts through Lake Okeechobee, put 86% of the state’s entire population within a 150-mile radius. Here, in Florida’s heartland, citrus growers and cattle ranchers thrive alongside manufacturing facilities and renewable energy plants. [Source: Business Florida]

South Florida’s industrial sales jump to over $1 billion in the third quarter

South Florida’s condo market has slowed down and the housing market is not what it once was, but the industrial sector is as hot as ever. Investment in South Florida’s industrial real estate market rose 77 percent to $1 billion in the third quarter of 2019 on a yearly basis. The market is booming right now due to an influx of institutional buyers acquiring new properties and land. [Source: The Real Deal]

Windshield repairs fuel insurance battle in Florida

An effort to crack down on alleged fraud in the auto-glass repair industry, particularly along the Interstate 4 corridor, is spurring an insurance battle in the state Legislature. A proposal by Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, that went before the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee on Tuesday would prohibit repair shops from offering rebates or other incentives, such as gift cards, in exchange for motorists making insurance claims for windshield repairs or replacement. [Source: CBS Miami]


› ‘Business as usual’ at Orlando’s T.G. Lee milk factory after parent company declares bankruptcy
Dean Foods, parent company of T.G. Lee Dairy, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week, which the company said shouldn’t immediately affect the Orlando milk factory. Dallas-based Dean Foods said it is in talks with Dairy Farmers of America to sell the company and its subsidiaries. Its brands include TruMoo, Land O’Lakes, DairyPure, Friendly’s ice cream and T.G. Lee.

› Port Canaveral touts record cruise revenue as it sets sights on expansion ahead of new Carnival, Disney ships
Port Canaveral is all in on improvements and expansion as it prepares for a new class of Carnival cruise ship in 2020 and Disney’s new ships soon after. That was one of the main themes of the annual State of the Port address given Wednesday by Port CEO Capt. John Murray along with a look back at what was a successful fiscal year over 2018.

› Where Tech Data ranks among the Tampa Bay area’s largest companies
New York private equity firm Apollo Global Management announced Wednesday that it intends to buy Tech Data, the largest company headquartered in the Tampa Bay area measured by revenues. Just how big is Tech Data? The Largo-based technology distribution company brought in almost 60 percent more revenues than second-ranked Jabil Inc., located in St. Petersburg, or 23 times as much as New Port Richey’s Welbilt, which ranked 10th.

› Inter Miami soccer team could remain in Fort Lauderdale longer than expected
Soccer legend David Beckham and his Inter Miami team could be calling Fort Lauderdale home well beyond 2021. It all depends on whether his plans to bring a new Major League Soccer team to Miami get hijacked. And what played out in Miami on Tuesday doesn’t look good for Beckham and company.

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› Sarasota officials to meet with Selby to discuss a compromise
Conversations over Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ future in Sarasota will begin soon, as city staff remains positive that a compromise for the cultural institution’s ambitious redevelopment plans can be found. Selby Gardens’ leadership agreed to an initial discussion and debriefing meeting with city staff this week. The meeting has not yet been scheduled.

› Hundreds of Florida inmates are serving drug sentences no longer in state law
Up to 1,000 Florida inmates find themselves in legal purgatory. An obscure clause in Florida's Constitution dating back to the Jim Crow era has kept them stranded behind bars. And even after Florida voters repealed that clause last year, the state Legislature has not put it into action.

› Deal would bring 750 shared electric mopeds to Miami
Soon, 750 black-and-blue electric mopeds will be zooming at up to 30 miles an hour through the streets of Miami. The Miami Parking Authority Board of Directors last week gave the green light to negotiate a concession agreement with Revel Transit Inc., an electric moped sharing company. Revel was determined to be the best of three candidates that answered the authority’s request for proposals.

› Florida’s soldiers face more heat risk from climate change than any other state
On a military base, a black flag is bad news. That means it’s too hot outside to do anything strenuous, so training and missions are put off until conditions improve. As the climate changes, there could be plenty more black flag days ahead, especially in Florida, a new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists found.