Florida ranks as one of the worst states for tax fairness according to WalletHub . Among the 50 states, Florida ranked third from bottom in terms of tax fairness for the poor, fourth from bottom in the liberalism of the state/local tax system and fifth from bottom in overall tax fairness. The full report can be viewed here.
Republican Governor Jeb Bush and Rick Scott as well as GOP legislators consistently discussed the need to lower taxes to create a”favorable business climate.” But for all the tax incentives and rhetoric of Republicans in the legislature and executive branch they have proven over the past decade they are consistently unable to attract business to the state. Interestingly, Republicans in neighboring southern states have fared much better at attracting large corporations to either relocate or set up major operations.
For a state of its size, one of four true “mega-states” with more large and medium sized urban areas than any other state in the US, Florida has a pathetically small number of Fortune 500 companies based in the state. Despite a tax rate lower than most states and “right to work” status which prevents unions from effectively organizing, Florida’s Republicans have failed badly.
So not only can they not attract enough new business to the state, but Florida’s Republicans have crafted a fundamentally unfair tax structure that hurts working families and those who seek to be upwardly mobile in society. It has long been the goal of Florida Republicans to reward corporations and entities that handsomely contribute to campaigns.
The WalletHub report simply confirms what we already know about Florida’s tax structure. In the past attempts by members of both parties to reform it have unfortunately fallen flat. Let us hope in the future we will have greater opportunities to reform the regressive Florida tax system.