TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – April 28, 2015 – Florida's per capita state government tax and revenue collections are at their lowest points in decades, according to the state's fiscal watchdog, Florida TaxWatch.

The group's latest report, "How Florida Compares," finds that the state's per capita state tax collections have fallen to 48th in the nation.

However, local taxes play a bigger role in Florida than other states. While state-level taxation remains low, the report finds that local taxes make up more than half (54.8 percent) of all government revenues – the highest percentage in the nation.

When state and local taxes are combined, Florida's total tax burden rises.

"Florida's different tax rankings (help taxpayers) understand how state and local governments work together to provide necessary services," says Dominic M. Calabro, president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch. "We hope taxpayers and policymakers will use this guide to better understand the cost of state and local governments, and how those costs compare to the rest of the nation."

In 2013, Florida's per-capita tax burden ranked 48th, falling from 47th in 2012.

On the flipside, lower tax collections also meant less revenue, per capita, in state and local coffers. TaxWatch says state revenue dropped from 48th to 49th – the lowest rankings since Florida TaxWatch has been tracking them. When combined with local revenues, Florida ranks No. 44 in a state-to-state comparison for per capita state and local taxes; and it ranks 36th state-to-state for revenue per capita.

According to the report, Florida's lower tax rankings spring largely from the negative impact the great recession had on property and sales tax revenue. From 2006 to 2013, Florida's state tax collections saw the largest decrease in the nation, falling 11.8 percent. It was one of only two states to see revenues fall.

However, as the state recovers from the recession, Florida's general sales tax and documentary and real estate transfer taxes are beginning to provide more revenue.

The report also finds that 53.0 percent of Florida state and local taxes come from businesses, the 10th highest ration in the nation. Factors that contribute to the business burden include the lack of a personal income tax, and the Save Our Homes provision for homeowners, which tends to shift property tax burdens.

The complete Florida TaxWatch study is available online.

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