My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

April 20th marked Florida's Taxpayer Independence Day. This is the day in the year when Floridians have collectively earned Taxpayer Independence Day Infographicenough money to pay their federal, state, and local tax bill for the year. Due to a lower-than-average tax structure, Florida’s Taxpayer Independence Day falls four days earlier than the National Taxpayer Independence Day, which is Friday, April 24th. For a family with a household income of $50,000, this represents an additional savings of $548 annually. Whether you choose to save, invest, budget, or spend it, there are a lot of things you could do with extra money in your pocket.

It should come as no surprise that residents are moving away from states with high tax burdens and coming to Florida. This video shows how much longer you would have to work in order to realize taxpayer independence in peer states like New York, California and Illinois.

While Florida is doing our part, according to Florida TaxWatch, federal taxes comprise almost 70 percent of Floridians’ tax burden. Not counted in Taxpayer Independence Day is our nation’s largest financial drain: our national debt. Shockingly, every household in America would have to forfeit 14 months of income just to pay off the current gross federal debt of over $18 trillion.

While we are doing our part in Florida to keep taxes low, I believe the key to responsible government spending starts with accountability to the taxpayer, which is why I created Transparency Florida. This website allows Floridians to scrutinize state budgets, payments and contracts and hold their government accountable for how every dollar is spent. Transparency ensures accountability, and Floridians have a right to see how their government spends their money. I’m proud to call Florida home and will continue to fight to keep your tax burden low so Florida can operate in an efficient and transparent way.


Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

News of Interest

Sunshine State News: Florida Reaches Taxpayer Independence Day

Tampa Bay Times: Florida adds 30,600 jobs in March

Miami Herald: Healthcare attracts most of Florida’s VC funding

Tampa Bay Times: Regulators approve deal that will create largest solar project in Florida

Associated Press: Survey finds U.S. economy growing at moderate pace

Florida Trend: Florida is the world's port of call

CalculatorFinancial Tip of the Week

Use credit cards wisely. Carefully managing credit cards is important to avoiding growing debt. Be sure to compare options before selecting a card. Credit cards offer many advantages if used responsibly.

Financial Football   |  Cost of Credit   |  Credit and Debit

Florida Economic Briefs

Florida unemployment rate unchanged in March
Florida’s unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in March, unchanged from the revised February rate (5.7 percent) and down 0.8 percentage points from a year ago (6.5 percent). The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in March, also unchanged from February (5.5 percent) and down 1.1 percentage points from March 2014 (6.6 percent).
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Number of Florida venture capital investment deals increases in the first quarter
There were 19 new capital investment deals in the first quarter of 2015, 9 more than the previous quarter (10 deals) and four more than the first quarter of 2014 (14 deals). The total venture capital invested into the state was $89.73 million, with Florida ranking 14th in the nation.
Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association

What are Middle Market Companies?

Thomas A. StewartThe spring edition of Florida’s Bottom Line highlights middle-market companies, a vital segment of Florida’s economy, and illustrates many of the factors that have contributed to their success. While they often fly under the radar, they are a driving force in our state, employing one-in-every-five Floridians and representing nearly a quarter of total business revenues in Florida last year. In the following in-depth article, Thomas Stewart defines and discusses middle-market companies and their value to Florida.  Read more on page 1 of Florida's Bottom Line.