The Florida House on Wednesday passed a bill that would allow counties to spend so-called “bed” tax money on efforts to combat flooding, despite concerns from the tourism industry that the change would reduce marketing dollars.
The money would initially be used to replenish the state’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund, which became depleted during the Covid pandemic. After the fund is replenished, the revenue would be used to make a major cut in a tax on commercial rent.
This victory is only one step in efforts to expand health care access. The next step is to make them permanent — or, better yet, move toward a public option or universal, Medicare for All system that doesn’t tie health care access to employment or income at all, argues Olivia Alperstein.
Floridians would be asked to approve a tax break for people who elevate their homes to avoid the threat of flooding, while up to $100 million a year would be set aside to help local governments combat rising sea levels, under proposals announced Friday by House Speaker Chris Sprowls.
Palm Coast’s ultra-conservative fiscal management is allowing the city to hire two additional sheriff’s deputies, restore employee raises, and restore the city manager’s own raise, which he had declined last year on the approach of Covid’s era of uncertainty.
Residents of Flagler County and each of its cities will again see little to no change in their property tax bills next year as governments are adopting tax rates that either stay flat or roll back a little, with the exception of Bunnell.
In recognition of residents’ difficulties with Covid-19, Flagler Beach city commissioners agreed to a net-zero tax increase next year, which will translate to a modest tax decrease for many property owners, or some increase for those who aren’t homesteaded and whose assessed values have shot up.
The Flagler Beach City Commission appeared ready to prevent a tax increase of any kind this year until a surprising call for another budget meeting had two commissioners questioning the administration’s motives, and those of fellow-commissioners.
Many children are expected to start the school year taking classes online because of concerns about the spread of the virus, likely spurring some families to look for computer equipment.
Local governments are looking to keep tax rates flat. Flagler Beach’s valuations increased 5.3 percent, Palm Coast’s by 5.8 percent, Bunnell’s by nearly 10 percent and the school board’s by 4.7 percent.