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Taxes
Category archives for: Taxes

Your Amazon Holiday Is Over: Giant Starts Collecting Sales Tax in Florida in 2 Weeks

| April 17, 2014

For Floridians who are supposed to pay the taxes but haven’t, the announcement of Amazon’s entry into the state’s brick-and-mortar retail landscape could mean about $80 million a year in sales taxes, according to one business lobbying group.

More Parents Are Defaulting on College Loans For Their Children, Costing Taxpayers

| April 6, 2014

The Parent Plus program allows parents to take out essentially uncapped amounts to cover college costs, regardless of the borrower’s income or ability to repay the loan. But default rates, while still modest, have nearly tripled over the last four years.

Red-Light Cameras Won’t Be Repealed This Year, But Restrictions on Profits May Yet Pass

| March 27, 2014

Red-light cameras’ powerful lobby defeated Senate Transportation Chairman Jeff Brandes’s attempt to end the use of the devices, but several proposed restrictions are still moving through the Legislature, such as limiting profits to safety uses and requiring safety studies before cameras can be installed.

As March 31 Deadline Nears: Going Without Health Insurance Will Likely Cost You At Tax Time

| March 26, 2014

If you thought you could get health coverage later this year, you may not get that chance until November, which means that you’ll most likely have to pay a penalty of 1 percent of your income at tax time, even if only a single member of your family is not insured. Penalties rise in subsequent years.

Palm Coast’s Red-Light Cameras: How the City Council Locked In a Fraud on Taxpayers Through 2019

| March 7, 2014

Palm Coast’s red-light cameras siphon off more than $2.5 million out of the local economy every year, in the share that goes to the state and to ATS, the company that runs the scheme, yet the city council quietly approved the deal through 2019, long past the terms of every one of the council members and some of their successors.

Florida Lawmakers Reeling Up Billion-Dollar Tax Breaks For Film and TV Industries

| February 25, 2014

Less than a week after a measure was introduced in the House to provide $1 billion in tax credit to film and television production efforts in Florida, the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee released a proposal that offers $300 million in tax credits.

Another Tax Cut for Business: Putnam Proposes Reducing Electricity Sales Levy By Half

| February 13, 2014

By phasing in the reduction from 7 percent to 3.5 percent, the impact to state revenue should be a reduction of about $85 million the first year, and an additional $70 million in each of the two following years. Residential customers would see no tax cut.

In Latest Re-Election Ploy, Scott Proposes 10-Day Sales Tax Holiday, Triple the Usual Length

| January 18, 2014

Scott announced Friday he wants lawmakers to approve a 10-day sales tax holiday in August. The extended tax-free period is the latest of the budget proposals Scott has rolled out in advance of the 2014 legislative session.

Solar Panel Users as Freeloaders: ALEC Network’s State Lobbyists Attack Homeowner and Business Subsidies

| December 28, 2013

According to the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative network better known as ALEC, our solar panels make us “free riders.” What? Yes, according to ALEC, an organization that specializes in getting the right-wing agenda written into state laws, people like me who invest in energy-efficiency and shrinking our carbon footprints ought to be penalized, writes Isaiah J. Poole.

Extra State Revenue Could Top $1 Billion As Legislature Approaches Spring Session

| December 8, 2013

State economic forecasters added $324.3 million to expected tax revenues during the current budget year, which ends June 30, and the fiscal year that begins the next day. Because lawmakers have already passed a budget covering this year, all of the new money should be available for the spending plan that starts in July.

Another Obamacare Surprise: Married Couples Not Eligible For Subsidies Given Single Filers

| December 5, 2013

For middle class married couples who don’t have children, the subsidy cutoff is $62,000. If one spouse makes $30,000 and the other $40,000, they are ineligible for a subsidy when combined. But if they were just living together, each would be eligible for a subsidy.

FPL Customers Will See Power Bills Increase 5% Starting in January, Adding to Other Local Utility Hikes

| December 4, 2013

For Palm Coast residents, the rate increase compounds steeper utility rate increases as the city raised its water and sewer rates 8 percent in April, another 4 percent in October, and will raise them again 4 percent next October. The typical combined annual price increase: $175.

Don’t Slash Government Spending. Increase It.

| December 1, 2013

One of the biggest common misunderstandings is that governments are like households, which need to tighten their spending when times are tough. Actually, governments and households work in opposite ways. Governments can and should spend more when times are tough.

Needed Or Not, Lawmakers Seek 2-Week Tax Holiday for “Hurricane Preparedness”

| November 21, 2013

A big factor in how much of the cuts or tax holidays make it into the next fiscal plan depends in part on the state’s economic outlook that the economists will update prior to the legislative session early next year.

Palm Coast Council Votes 5-0 For New City Hall in Town Center, With Move-In by End of 2015

| November 19, 2013

In the face of intense opposition, but also just as intense support, the Palm Coast City Council Tuesday said Yes to a new city hall. The 5-0 vote followed three hours of presentations, public comment and discussion before an overflow crowd at the Palm Coast Community Center, the largest crowd to turn up for any issue in recent memory.

Palm Coast Again Pitches New City Hall, No Referendum, as Chamber Orchestrates Support

| November 12, 2013

Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon on Tuesday choreographed a presentation focused on a $9 million city hall in Town Center he said can be built mostly with existing dollars–and without a referendum–as the Flagler Chamber of Commerce and the Palm Coast Observer worked on a letter-writing campaign to sway council members, who may vote on the plan next week.

Palm Coast Getting Fleeced of Red-Light Camera Dollars, Harming Local Economy

| November 1, 2013

In September, the 43 red-light cameras in Palm Coast generated $255,740 in fines, what would work out to an annual total of $3 million. The state and ATS, the private company running the system, took more than seven times the revenue share left Palm Coast, which means that the overwhelming majority of the money is leaving the local economy.

Kiss Your Tax-Free Amazon Orders Goodbye: Company’s I-4 Warehouses On the Way

| October 27, 2013

The confirmation by Amazon.com that it will build a pair of massive “fulfillment” centers along the Interstate 4 corridor means that sometime in the next two years Floridians will have to start paying sales taxes on purchases from the online retail giant.

State Rakes In Cash From Seminole Casinos and Rethinks Gambling Landscape

| October 23, 2013

Under the current deal with the Seminoles, which ends in 2015, the tribe makes the payments to the state in exchange for having the exclusive right to offer banked table games, such as blackjack, along with a monopoly on all slot locations outside of Broward and Miami-Dade counties. The Seminoles agreed to pay a minimum of $150 million in each of the first two years, $233 million in the third and fourth years and $234 million in 2015.

A Tiff, and Broader Implications, In County’s Hope of Eliminating Voter Voice in Economic Development

| October 7, 2013

In a reflection of government-backed economic development’s dim luster, Flagler County want to eliminate voters’ role in giving local governments authority to extend tax breaks to companies. That proposal led to a clash Monday between government critic Dennis McDonald and Commissioner Barbara Revels.

Sen. Dorothy Hukill Proposes Cutting Sales Tax on Commercial Rental Property to 5%

| September 19, 2013

Senate Finance and Tax Chairwoman Dorothy Hukill of Port Orange’s proposal could cut $250 million a year from state revenue. Business leaders want the tax, currently at 6%, eliminated altogether as Gov. Rick Scott travels the state on a tax-cutting tour.

Lawmakers File Bill to Prohibit Red-Light Cameras in Florida as Palm Coast Snaps On

| September 4, 2013

GOP Sen. Jeff Brandes blames red-light cameras “as backdoor tax increases,” but the Palm Coast City Council Tuesday reasserted its commitment to its 43 cameras even as they siphon out more than $3 million a year from the local economy–in taxes to state government, and in revenue to ATS, the Arizona-based company that runs the system.

Back-to-School Tax Holiday Now Includes Computers, Tablets and Electronic Gadgetry

| July 25, 2013

Florida’s back-to-school tax holiday Aug. 2 through Aug. 4 for the first time includes high-tech computer and other electronics as long as each individual item is priced under $750. Retailers are preparing for the demand, in some cases lowering prices to match the benchmark.

Facing Mandatory Spending, County May Raise Taxes by Nearly $100 for Median Home

| July 22, 2013

In previous years, tax rate increases didn’t mean much because they were either entirely or more than offset by decreases in property values. The end result was lower tax bills for most, even as tax rates went up. That’s over. And tax rates are set to go up in every city, too.

Flagler Tea Party Spreads False and Misleading Claims as It Declares Against School Tax

| May 31, 2013

The Tea Party’s opposition to the referendum is based on flawed, misleading or outright false information, which the school district has been at pains to counter or correct. The fate of the June 7 referendum may hinge on the district’s success—or failure—in that counter-offensive.

A “Nasty” Government Building Highlights County’s Priorities as Budget Spells Higher Taxes

| May 29, 2013

An unclear Government Services Building and what it costs to maintain it properly was emblematic of the Flagler County Commission’s budget discussion this morning, as the government faces at least a $3.3 million gap, or more, if it hires an extra custodian, no new revenue, and the likelihood of higher taxes.

Florida Loses Out on Amazon Deal, and Up to 3,000 Jobs, Over Sales Tax Fumes

| May 16, 2013

In a statement issued Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration implied that if Amazon were to locate in Florida and begin collecting taxes, that would amount to a tax increase on Florida residents who use the popular shopping portal.

Speculative Bust: How Widening Old Kings Road Left Palm Coast on Hook for $6.7 Million

| May 16, 2013

Palm Coast borrowed millions from its own utility fund to complete the Old Kings Road widening on the assumption that the economy would pick up and enable the city to re-finance with bonds. That never happened. Now the city is looking to recoup its money from property owners along the road, who’d agreed to a special taxing district but with optimistic assumptions of their own that never panned out.

Ending 3rd Budget Drag-Out in 8 Days, School Board Settles on $1.8 Million in Cuts

| May 14, 2013

After 13 hours of at times harrowing debate, the Flagler County School Board by Tuesday evening settled on $1.8 million in cuts, sparing most programs but not Everest alternative school. The cuts will be restored should voters approve a tax referendum on June 7.

Its Value $26 Million in the Hole, Bunnell Rethinks Downtown Redevelopment Zone

| May 13, 2013

Bunnell established its 800-acre downtown redevelopment zone in 2007, assuming that most tax revenue generated there could then be reinvested in the area to reinvigorate it. Instead, property values fell $26 million in the zone, forcing the city to rethink the CRA’s viability.

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