On Thursday, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released a report offering recommendations on the state budget and to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
FTW unveiled “Bringing Florida’s Budget Back From COVID-19: A Roadmap for a Responsible Recovery” as Gov. Ron DeSantis ponders using his line-item veto power.
“The recommendations put forward today by FTW can conservatively produce a combined nearly $6 billion in annual positive impact on the budget and include proposed legislative actions for both short-term (FY 2020-21) and long-term consideration by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature,” FTW noted. “According to the most recently released data from the Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR), Florida’s General Revenue (GR) collections in April 2020 were nearly $880 million below estimates. The decline in April collections indicate that GR is $676.7 million below estimate year-to-date. FTW fully expects to see a further decline in May collections (reflecting April sales), driving Florida’s revenue shortfalls even deeper.”
Former state Sen. Pat Neal, now the chairman of Florida TaxWatch, weighed in on the report on Thursday.
“Since 1979 Florida TaxWatch has stood strong as a dedicated watchdog and trusted partner to guide our state forward and out of economic adversity. Now, as we all work together to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are proud to once again step forward and provide our state leaders with the very best research, analysis, and recommendations to ensure economic strength and success for the Sunshine State for years to come,” Neal said.
“For more than 40 years, Florida TaxWatch has acted as the trusted eyes and ears of Florida taxpayers and today we are proud to offer thoughtful budget and policy recommendations and options to Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature to bring Florida’s budget back from COVID-19 and serve as a roadmap for Florida’s strong and enduring economic recovery. It is clear that our state has difficult decisions ahead, but we also know that the resolve and strength of Florida knows no limits. We look forward to working together to guide Florida forward and continue the good work of improving the efficiency of state government,” said Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic Calabro.
The report can be read here.