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

Preparing Florida’s Government Policy for The Next Big Hurricane

by Chad Thomas Political and economic conditions in New Orleans before 2005 left the city unprepared for Hurricane Katrina. The government bureaucracies responsible for levee maintenance were mismanaged and corrupt officials diverted needed funds. Weak economic performance before Katrina also set up affected areas for slow recovery afterward. New Orleans’ experience shows how government can … Continue reading Preparing Florida’s Government Policy for The Next Big Hurricane

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 District Spending Priorities and Political Entrepreneurship

By Matt Kelly and Tyler Worthington Special districts are small local governments created by state statute or local ordinance to fulfill a particular purpose in a specified geographic area. Some special districts control the mosquito population in an area, while others are in charge of things like fire protection, library administration, or utility services. Unlike … Continue reading Special District Spending Priorities and Political Entrepreneurship

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

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

Health Care and Education Departments Spend the Most of Florida’s State Budget

By: Nick Hyder and Tian Ma With 2015 behind us, it’s worthwhile to take stock of last year’s spending by state government. A state’s spending says a lot about its priorities, and accountability to taxpayers is an important component of a democracy. The Agency for Health Care Administration tops the list of spending by state … Continue reading Health Care and Education Departments Spend the Most of Florida’s State Budget

The Top 10 Highest Earning Counties in Florida

By: Igor Lukashevich and Nadia James The top six Florida counties for revenue intake per capita are as follows: Duval, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Franklin, Charlotte, and Collier. Total revenues for counties follow very closely with total expenditures, as the same six counties also topped the list for expenditures per capita. This relationship makes sense because the … Continue reading The Top 10 Highest Earning Counties in Florida

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

Measuring Liberty: The Economic Freedom of the World Index

By Matt Kelly Defining freedom can be a difficult endeavor, yet the ability to compare relative economic and social liberties among countries is of significant importance for economic research. With that aim in mind, Florida State University professor and DeVoe Moore scholar James Gwartney and Robert Lawson of Southern Methodist University, have compiled the Economic … Continue reading Measuring Liberty: The Economic Freedom of the World Index

Florida Does Not Need More Corporate Welfare

Original post date: March 27, 2013 Article by: Anonymous 5/8/2023 Edits: Some links that were no longer working have been fixed. Even amongst fiscal conservatives, the argument is often made that the public funding of sports stadiums is justified because of the economic benefits they bring to their communities.  According to TBO, the state senate … Continue reading Florida Does Not Need More Corporate Welfare

Controversy Over Pension Liabilities May Leave Taxpayers in the Hole

Post date: November 13, 2012 Article by: Anonymous 5/8/2023 Edits: Some links that were no longer working have been fixed. A recent report published by the Leroy Collins Institute at Florida State University regarding Florida’s increasingly unfunded public pension plans received some controversial feedback, largely in response to the accounting methods used. Critiques of the … Continue reading Controversy Over Pension Liabilities May Leave Taxpayers in the Hole