ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Key HUF 2021 Legislative Priority

Protect Sadowski Trust Fund:

Earmark dedicated funding for affordable housing. Fund and protect the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund—a dedicated source of revenue that helps pay for local and state housing programs.

Support two-generational approach to provide multi-generational support for families.

Develop more effective policies for families with young children in poverty by aligning targeted social services that support child development with workforce development services to increase family economic self-sufficiency.

Establish a state earned sick time law for all workers.

Florida has one of the highest populations without access to paid sick time, which disproportionately affects hospitality and tourism workers.

Recommendation:
  • Support an earned sick time law that would require all public and private employers to allow all workers, including gig employees, to accrue paid time off to seek medical care or deal with a mental or physical illness to prevent the spread of highly contagious viruses, such as COVID-19, to fellow employees and customers.

Create a state-based refundable Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

In tax year 2015, approximately two million tax filers in Florida received $5.2 billion worth of tax credits through the EITC. 30 states and the District of Columbia have already created or enacted a state based EITC program, including Washington, a state without an income tax like Florida.

Florida’s tax system is upside down, meaning that those with the lowest incomes are asked to pay the highest share of their income on state and local taxes. Targeted tax rebates and credits to those with the lowest income can help alleviate this.

State EITCs are better targeted to people with low income than blanket tax exemptions, so they help to reduce the disproportionate impact of sales and excise taxes. According to data from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a state EITC at 30 percent of the federal credit would reduce the share of income that Floridians in the lowest income quintile pay towards taxes from 12.7 percent to 9.3 percent, a 26 percent decrease.

Support small businesses by partnering with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).

More than 37,000 businesses were denied credit by Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program in April 2020. CDFIs are trusted by small businesses in underserved communities and can help mitigate the current economic challenges.

Recommendation:

Support the strengthening of state efforts to support small businesses, including through support of CDFIs, to help build the capacity of these community-based lenders to ensure that small businesses and nonprofit organizations can maintain payroll and operations.