May 27, 2020

Pandemic Costs Fla. $880M In April Revenue, Report Says [Law360]

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Paul Williams writes:

"Florida tax collections came in almost $880 million below estimates in April as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to a state economic report that found the health crisis hit sales tax revenue the hardest.

Nearly $600 million of the tax collection shortfall was attributed to a drop-off of sales tax collections, according to a monthly revenue report released Tuesday by the Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research. The report said the state's tourism, hospitality and auto sales industries accounted for the bulk of the sales tax deficit.


Most states are facing precipitous reductions in tax collections as governors around the country have closed businesses to curb the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus. But Florida's coffers were deemed especially vulnerable, given that the state does not levy an income tax and is one of only two states with a statewide sales tax that have not yet imposed tax on sales from out-of-state businesses that sell into Florida.

'Florida's heavy reliance on the sales tax as its main revenue source has put our state at risk, especially with the steep drop in tourism coinciding with the COVID-19 health crisis,' Sadaf Knight, CEO of the Florida Policy Institute, [emphasis added] told Law360 on Wednesday."


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