Dear Fellow Floridian:
It isn’t often that I have an occasion to praise the federal government, but I’m happy to share with you that last week a burdensome backdoor tax increase on businesses was repealed. The
three percent withholding requirement was scheduled to take effect in 2013 and was threatening American entrepreneurs
and shortening the leash on the American dream.
This tax would have raised the cost of government contracts at the expense of taxpayers, and penalized small businesses at a time when they can least afford it. In addition, my office estimated that the state would have ended up paying millions of dollars to comply with the law.
In these challenging economic times, Americans don’t have one more dime to give to government. Clearly, this tax would have been disastrous to our economic recovery, and I applaud the bipartisan effort that led to its repeal.
Read my letter to the
Florida Congressional delegation.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida
Black Friday Shopping Breaks Records
"Black Friday," the nickname for the busy shopping day after Thanksgiving, is the day that takes our businesses out of the red and into the black by kick starting profits for the holiday season. This year, Americans flooded small businesses and retail stores, giving a boost to our economy nationwide. We saw record-breaking numbers with approximately $52.4 billion over the four-day Black Friday weekend - up 16 percent from last year. Friday sales totaled $11.4 billion - up more than $1 billion from last year and the most ever spent in a single day.
Nearly one-quarter of Black Friday shoppers were at stores by midnight, up from only 9.5 percent in 2010. Analysts believe the trend of opening at midnight will spread to many more retailers and shopping on Thanksgiving night could become a new holiday tradition. This may be a sign that consumer confidence is returning.
Financial Education Web Site Launched
Florida Chief Financial
Officer Jeff Atwater launched Your Money Matter$, a new Web site that offers financial education, tools and resources to Floridians with information categorized by the user's life stage or financial interests.
Parents and educators will find fun and exciting games and tools to teach youth about money and saving. Adults can use 29
different calculators to help with everything from holiday budgeting to planning for retirement. Military service members, as well as small businesses, will find specific information and resources designed to help strengthen their financial footprints. The site also will include videos, webinars and other on-demand resources so users can access learning at any time. The
Your Money Matter$ Web site can be found at
State Fire Marshal Educates Students
During the month of November, the Division of State Fire Marshal Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations (BFAI) participated in several events for the 2011 Great American Teach In. The Teach In is aimed at educating elementary and middle school students about different professions and the importance of maintaining academic rigor.
Members of BFAI informed students in the fields of fire and arson investigations, canine accelerant and explosive detection, and explosive ordnance disposal (bomb squad) operations.
The Division of State Fire Marshal is committed to maintaining an educational presence in our school systems and strives to educate the public about the importance of fire safety and explosives awareness.
For more about the State Fire Marshal's Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, visit
the Web site at