Florida TaxWatch Releases Annual Cost Savings Recommendations

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It's called "Modern Management and Sensible Savings".

Florida TaxWatch's new report by that name lays out a series of suggestions to save more than $1-billion in the next state budget.

One recommendation is to replace the state's current accounting system.

The report estimates a $350 million dollar savings.

"No modern business of any size, let alone the state of Florida which runs a $75-billion annual budget can operate with a legacy system that dates back to 1980," said Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic Calabro.

Another recommendation is to reform the criminal justice system.

It includes reducing the prison population by moving non-violent offenders to diversion programs.

The estimated cost savings from that recommendation is $131-million.

"These are programs that are tried and true," said Calabro. "They're empirically based and we're doing them now," he said. "We're just saying manage better," Calabro said.

The report also recommends the state maximize its revenues in part by collecting sales taxes from out of state vendors selling to Florida residents through the internet, mail or telephone.

TaxWatch estimates collections for the next budget year at $220-million.

"We're giving people outside the state of Florida a 7 to 7 and a half percent sales tax advantage," said Calabro. "It's just wrong," he said. "It's actually illegal, it's immoral and it's unethical and harmful to the people of Florida," Calabro said.

There's a total of 6 comprehensive recommendations in the report.

They also include pension reform, state asset management and state health insurance reform.

Last year's total state budget was about $74-billion.

Press Release: Florida TaxWatch

Tallahassee, Fla. - Florida TaxWatch will release its annual cost savings recommendations for the 2014-15 Legislative Session on Wednesday, November 6th in the Cabinet Room of the Florida Capitol. The recommendations to increase government efficiency and accountability are included in a Report from the TaxWatch Center for Government Efficiency, and are designed to improve services and save tax dollars.

The recommendations were produced by Florida TaxWatch researchers and Advisory Board members of the TaxWatch Center for Government Efficiency. Since 2009, Florida TaxWatch costs saving recommendations adopted by the Legislature have resulted in more than $4.2 billion in savings for the Florida taxpayers.

Where: Cabinet Room - Lower Level, Florida Capitol.
When: Wednesday, November 6th - 10 a.m.
Who: Dominic M. Calabro, John R. Alexander, Florida TaxWatch staff, TaxWatch Center for Government Efficiency Advisory Board Members TaxWatch staff and Advisory Board members will be available for interviews following the news conference.

CONTACT: Morgan McCord , Communications Coordinator

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