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My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

State Business Tax Climate RankingThe Tax Foundation’s "State Business Tax Climate" Index is the latest study to find Florida to be home to one of the best business climates in the nation. The Tax Foundation recently analyzed all 50 states on their overall tax climate and ranked them based on corporate, individual income, sales, unemployment insurance and property taxes. The results revealed Florida to be the best among the most populous states in the nation and fifth overall, trailing only Wyoming, South Dakota, Nevada and Alaska.

Florida taxpayers benefit from favorable unemployment insurance (3rd) and individual income (1st) tax rates. Florida ranks 12th and 16th respectively in the sales and property tax categories, and Florida’s corporate tax rating (14th) continues to be in the top third in the nation. The index ranking lists New York and New Jersey as having the two worst tax climates in the nation.

States in the bottom 10 of the rankings have created the same problems for themselves: complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates. In contrast, Floridians are finding greater job opportunities, the state’s population is growing by more than 600 residents a day, business investment is increasing and household incomes are growing.

We are fortunate to have business and state leaders who understand that a healthy and competitive business climate is a catalyst for prosperity and sustainable economic growth. As your Chief Financial Officer, I will continue to hold government accountable and work every day to ensure that Florida remains consumer and business-friendly.

For more information about Florida’s ranking and Florida’s financial health, read the latest issue of Florida’s Bottom Line.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

News of Interest

Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Tax climate here gets a top ranking

Fort Myers News-Press: Signs of improving economy all over area

Claims Journal: Florida’s Arson Detection Dogs Assisted in 487 Convictions

Bay News 9: Former Plant City insurance agent accused of theft facing more charges

Associated Press: Florida gets oil spill grant for conservation

Michelle Dahnke Appointed Deputy CFO of the Department of Financial Services

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater recently announced the appointment of Michelle Dahnke as Deputy CFO of the Florida Department of Financial Services. In her new role, Dahnke will oversee communications strategy and community outreach.

"Michelle brings our department more than a decade of strategic communications and policy experience on a variety of issues important to the well-being of Florida families," said CFO Atwater. "I’m confident her expertise will advance our efforts to make our government more transparent and our entire state more consumer and business-friendly."

Dahnke was most recently Deputy Communications Director for the Executive Office of Florida Governor Rick Scott, where she was responsible for providing direction and consultation to Governor Scott and the Governor’s cabinet agencies. From 2011 to 2014, Dahnke was the Director of Communications and Multimedia for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. She has also been Interim Communications Director for the Florida Department of Health, worked in the Executive Office of Governor Jeb Bush as a Gubernatorial Fellow and as a Public Information Officer for the Department of Financial Services under Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher.

Dahnke has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication and Public Relations and a Master of Science Degree in Integrated Marketing and Communication, both from Florida State University. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Public Health degree in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from the Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University.

Florida Economic Briefs

Global Entrepreneurship Week shines light on South Florida
Three Florida companies are finalists in the global competition challenging developers to reimagine banking. The companies are Decentral Bank, Monipulse, and Centric-Consulting and they are competing to win $100,000 and a contract with Citibank. The challenge received applications from 3,000 developers from 62 different countries.
Source: Miami Herald

Commercial real estate markets are back in balance
According to a report by Wells Fargo, demand for apartments has been especially strong in November, driving vacancy rates down to their lowest level this decade. This is likely due to stronger job growth and increased in-migration.
Source: Wells Fargo

Florida's Bottom Line - Veteran-owned BusinessesFlorida's Bottom Line on the Success of Veteran-owned Businesses

This edition of Florida’s Bottom Line highlights the active role Florida’s veterans play in contributing to our flourishing economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, veterans are 45 percent more likely than civilian counterparts to become successful entrepreneurs.

Today, Florida ranks third nationally for the greatest number of veteran-owned businesses, which provide more than $61 billion in revenue annually and employ more than 310,000 Floridians. Additionally, you’ll find helpful resources for veterans interested in starting their own business or who are in search of a job.

Fostering Financial Prosperity

This special issue of Florida’s Bottom Line offers an overview of the Department of Financial Services’ transparent, fiscally-sound and consumer-oriented accomplishments since 2011.

Fostering Financial Prosperity