Economic Freedom Key to Cities’ Success

By Matt Kelly Economic freedom is the unrestricted ability of people in a country to associate and transact with one another. Measuring economic freedom has become a growing area of academic research. Probably the best known measure is the index constructed for the “Economic Freedom of the World”  annual report on 159 countries published by … Continue reading Economic Freedom Key to Cities’ Success

Study Explores Local Government Response to Recessions

Recessions can be trying times for city and county governments. They typically experience a fall in revenue from two primary sources:  1) a shrinking property tax base because of falling property values and 2) lower intergovernmental transfers—grants and other payments received from the state and federal governments—because of cutbacks made at these higher levels of … Continue reading Study Explores Local Government Response to Recessions

New Overtime Rules Blocked For Now, But Uncertainty Weighs on Businesses

By Matt Kelly CLOCK IN TIME: 6:10pm Work in the United States may be about to change. The Department of Labor (DOL) has updated overtime rules relating to the Fair Labor Standards Act, and some changes could have a big impact on businesses’ labor costs. The rules were set to take effect on December 1, … Continue reading New Overtime Rules Blocked For Now, But Uncertainty Weighs on Businesses

New Study Examines Spillover Effects of Real Estate Owned Properties

Since the housing market collapse, banks have repossessed large numbers of homes. These REO or real estate owned properties are often vacant and rundown and can lower the values of nearby residences. While research confirms this spillover effect of REOs on other properties, few studies have evaluated its relative magnitude in different neighborhoods. DeVoe Moore … Continue reading New Study Examines Spillover Effects of Real Estate Owned Properties

Local Government Revenue Indicates Sluggish Recovery for Florida’s Businesses

By Benjamin Petersen and Matthew Laird Revenue collected by Florida’s local governments has grown dramatically in the last few decades, raising the importance that Floridians have an accurate understanding of how our governments raise and spend taxdollars. Revenue collected by local governments from permits, fees, and licenses is of particular importance for Florida’s business and … Continue reading Local Government Revenue Indicates Sluggish Recovery for Florida’s Businesses

Tax Increment Financing Has Unclear Effects

By Casey Barr Originally used in California in 1952, TIF is the most widely utilized type of economic development program in the nation, with 49 states and the District of Columbia currently authorize its use. Arizona is the only state that does not allow its use. In 2012, California limited the use of TIF after evidence … Continue reading Tax Increment Financing Has Unclear Effects

Foreclosed Properties Sold to Homeowners Stabilize Property Values

The collapse of the housing market led to an increase in the number of foreclosed residences, with ownership of many reverting to the banks. These are referred to as REO (real estate owned) properties. Recent research concludes the presence of REOs in a neighborhood can lower the property values of nearby homes, but these studies … Continue reading Foreclosed Properties Sold to Homeowners Stabilize Property Values

New Report Analyzes Tallahassee’s Permitting Process

By Matt Kelly An efficient regulatory process is essential to the business development strategies of cities like Tallahassee, Florida. Regulations that are too cumbersome or unnecessary increase the cost of doing business without serving the public interest. The growth and negative impact of regulatory accumulation at the federal level has been well documented, but local … Continue reading New Report Analyzes Tallahassee’s Permitting Process

Community Redevelopment Agencies

By Casey Barr Local governments face the perennial dilemma of obtaining money to fund community redevelopment projects. Requesting state or federal funds can be an arduous bureaucratic process, and these funds are often awarded to larger, more prominent cities, ignoring smaller towns where need is arguably greater. Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs) allow local governments to … Continue reading Community Redevelopment Agencies

Special Districts in Florida

By: Matt Kelly and Tyler Worthington Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tip O’Neil once said, “all politics is local,” meaning that politicians must appeal to local constituents to succeed. Yet political economy is arguably most opaque and complex at local levels. Local governments have grown as numerous as they are multifaceted. Over … Continue reading Special Districts in Florida