Taxes remain relatively low
After a big dip in August, Florida consumers’ confidence in the economy rebounded in September, showing strong gains in four of the five areas surveyed. Another report out last week meanwhile shows the Sunshine State ranks 40th in total state and local taxes paid. While Florida continues to be a relatively low tax state, the ranking rose slightly from 42nd place from the prior year.
The University of Florida Consumer Sentiment Index rose 3.9 points in September to 97.3 from a revised August figure that saw the largest decline in four years. Opinions about current economic conditions were a bit mixed. Perceptions of personal financial situations now compared with a year ago fell six-tenths of a point, the only declining component in the Index. In contrast, perception on whether now is a good time to buy a major household item rose 5.4 points.
While those younger than age 60 expressed favorable views, those age 60 and older expressed less favorable opinions in both components,” said Hector H. Sandoval, director of the Economic Analysis Program at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research.
The Index’s remaining three components were all up: expectations of personal finances a year from now, expected national economic conditions over the next year, and conditions over the next five years.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Florida ranked 12th of all states in the country in personal income growth with a growth rate of 6% in state personal income in the second quarter of 2019. The main contributor to this change came from net earnings, which includes wages, salaries and supplements but excludes contributions from government social insurance.
Florida’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in August at 3.3%, with 221,200 jobs added statewide.
While we’re earning more here in Florida, we’re also paying a few dollars more in taxes relative to the rest of the country, although still very much a low-tax state. That’s the word from Florida TaxWatch, which is out with its 2019 How Florida Compares: Taxes report. Florida ranks 40th, collecting $5,733 per state resident in fiscal 2016, well below the national average of $7,188. And an especially good deal, compared to New York at $11,810.
While Florida has no state income tax (one of seven states in the U.S.) it finds revenue in other ways, mostly through local taxes. Florida has some of the highest taxes on beer, wine, and liquor, as well as real estate transactions. The documentary stamp and stock transfer tax was third highest in the country last year.
LMA Newsletter of 10-7-19