Decision-making in a Community Redevelopment Agency

By Casey Barr As discussed in a previous blog post, Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs) are a form of special district government that funds local redevelopment projects with taxpayer subsidies. But how are spending and organizational decisions made in a CRA? (Source: City of Tallahassee. Available at: https://www.talgov.com/cra/CRAHome.aspx) CRAs can only be established when two governmental units, such … Continue reading Decision-making in a Community Redevelopment Agency

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

A Penny Seized is a Penny Earned: Asset Forfeiture in Florida

By Matt Kelly and Tyler Worthington Asset forfeiture is a tool used by federal and local law enforcement to seize property from people they believe may have been involved in a crime. In some cases, property has been seized and not returned to the accused even if charges were not filed or dropped. Local governments … Continue reading A Penny Seized is a Penny Earned: Asset Forfeiture in Florida

Tourism tax may soon be used for public services

  By Erick Winterkamp Officials in Okaloosa County recently diverted $2.5 million of Tourism Development Tax (TDT) revenues to pay for beach patrol and lifeguards, a move that Florida’s powerful tourism lobby contested. Tourism industry interest groups like the Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association claimed this was … Continue reading Tourism tax may soon be used for public services

Florida’s Frugal Government

By Randall G. Holcombe, Ph.D. Living in Tallahassee, I often hear people complain about Florida’s frugal state government.  It is true that Florida is among the most frugal states. According to this article Florida is second from the bottom among states in per capita state government expenditures, and this article says Florida is also second … Continue reading Florida’s Frugal Government

Duval county tops spending per person, followed by some of Florida’s smallest counties

By: Nick Hyder, Tian Ma, Igor Lukashevich, and Nadia James Out of the 67 counties in the state of Florida, Duval County spends the most per capita. Duval County is home to Florida’s most populous city, Jacksonville, which has a population over twice as large as Miami, Florida’s second most populous city. In 2014, Duval … Continue reading Duval county tops spending per person, followed by some of Florida’s smallest counties

Transit and Tourism in Tampa’s Heritage Streetcar’s

By Santiago Arango Heritage streetcars are built both to provide transportation services and to preserve the history of rail transit, a history that dates back to ancient Greece and Rome. As of late 2012, seven U.S cities have running heritage streetcars. The Tampa Electric Company (TECO) Line Streetcar System is one example. The Florida Department … Continue reading Transit and Tourism in Tampa’s Heritage Streetcar’s

Florida’s Dysfunctional Property Insurance System

By Matt Kelly Many readers will remember the hurricane season of 2004 as a chaotic time to be a Florida resident. The Sunshine State received four torrential storms that year, causing $45 billion in losses. School was cancelled, streets were covered with debris, and 37 lives were lost. Since 2005, Florida has experienced a nine-year … Continue reading Florida’s Dysfunctional Property Insurance System

Municiple Pension Forcing Florida Over a Fiscal Cliff

Original post date: October 05, 2012 Article by: Anonymous Florida public pension programs have become a cause for concern in recent years, and the debate just ramped up with the publication of a new report by Florida State University’s Leroy Collins Institute. Florida cities are facing a fiscal cliff on municipal pension funding, and much … Continue reading Municiple Pension Forcing Florida Over a Fiscal Cliff