Friday, April 1, 2011


Tampa Government Jobs Hindered by Low Federal Funding

Many more Tampa government jobs could be created if Florida received more federal funding.

A recent report from Florida TaxWatch found that Florida received less federal funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act than most other states, even though the state pays more federal taxes than most others.

During 2009, Florida received about $500 less per resident in federal stimulus funding than the national average. At the same time, the state paid $1.14 in taxes for each federal funding dollar it received, while 26 other states paid less than $1 in taxes for each dollar received.

If Florida had received the national average in grants during 2009, the state would find itself with an additional $10.6 billion in federal funding, which would translate into hundreds of thousands of new jobs for local and state government agencies.

That extra funding also could be used to put more money toward the unemployment compensation fund debt, pay for increasing Medicaid costs, and work toward closing the massive budget shortfall the state is currently facing.

"In these difficult fiscal times, Florida needs to seize opportunities to maximize its collection of eligible federal revenue instead of cutting core service and programs that Florida's most vulnerable populations rely on," the report notes. "One such way is to create a centralized system, such as a Grants Clearinghouse, for securing these dollars through a grant drawdown system – a recommendation that has been analyzed and long-supported by Florida TaxWatch. This recommendation ... could bring the state billions."



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