Florida’s legislature has exhibited a fiscal conservatism that is rare among state governments of its size. During the 2008-2009 recession, many states increased tax rates to cover liabilities, but Florida chose instead to reduce its spending level in inflation-adjusted terms. This fiscally conservative policy put less financial stress on residents and businesses at a crucial juncture in history enabling Florida’s economy to bounce back more quickly in comparison to other states and the national average.
However, Floridians must remain vigilant over the spending of their tax dollars by government officials. Some public policies continue to corrupt and erode sound fiscal policy through their lack of transparency and efficiency. The procedures in place to monitor these policies have limited accountability for outcomes, as well as create greater opportunities for special interests to gain at the expense of the public.
Such is the case with some targeted grants, tax incentives, and subsidies given by the state to well-connected special interests in what is widely referred to as “crony capitalism.” Watchdog groups should stay vigilant in the battle against cronyism in Florida’s regulations and tax system as this will create more consistency in our economy, ensure equal opportunity to the fruits of entrepreneurialism, and promote long-term economic health and prosperity.
Read our latest Backgrounder on crony capitalism in Florida.