Breakfast bites: state revenue tops projections; Florida ranks poorly for student debt; DeSantis book deal nets big bucks

by | Jul 5, 2023

Tasty news nuggets to start your day…

Florida revenue exceeds expectations (again)

Florida’s general-revenue tax collections exceeded expectations in May by $100 million, according to a report by the Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research. The state collected $4.251 billion in general revenue, with sales taxes being the main contributor. The report also highlighted concerns about Floridians’ savings, stating that the personal savings rate remained “subpar” at 4.6 percent, compared to the national average of 7.9 percent in 2019. Despite the positive tax revenue, economists noted that higher-than-expected investment earnings helped boost the numbers. Additionally, a separate report estimated that the average American household had approximately $10,000 in credit-card debt.

Florida ranks in Top 10 for student loan debt

A recent study conducted reveals that Florida ranks among the top 10 states in the United States with the highest student loan debt. The research compared all 50 states using the most recent student debt data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, focusing on the proportion of student debt per borrower. Florida takes the sixth spot on the list, with a total of 2,646,400 student loan borrowers and an average loan debt of $38,668 per borrower. Maryland claims the top spot with the highest prevalence of student loan debt, followed by Georgia, Delaware, and Virginia. On the other end of the scale, South Dakota has the lowest average loan debt per borrower. The study sheds light on the areas that may benefit the most from President Biden’s proposed student loan forgiveness plan, which awaits a decision from the Supreme Court. (Full story)

DeSantis signs controversial alimony overhaul 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that will bring significant changes to the state’s alimony laws, including the elimination of permanent alimony. The measure, which has been met with both support and opposition, will allow for modifications to alimony agreements when the payer wants to retire and sets a five-year limit on rehabilitative alimony. While proponents argue that the reforms provide clarity and protect the rights of alimony payers, critics, particularly members of the “First Wives Advocacy Group,” express concerns that the changes will cause financial devastation for older women who rely on permanent alimony. The controversial move by Governor DeSantis has reignited emotional clashes over the issue of alimony in Florida. (Full story)

Book deal boosts DeSantis net worth, but he still trails Donald Trump

Known for touting his blue-collar background, Gov. Ron DeSantis has seen a significant increase in his financial status as state financial disclosures for 2022 reveal he earned $1.25 million for his book released alongside his presidential campaign. However, his net worth, now over three times what it was in 2021, still falls far short of former President Donald Trump’s assets, estimated at least $1.5 billion. While DeSantis emphasizes his modest upbringing, his recent wealth surge underscores the wealth disparities between him and his billionaire rival. (Full story)

Data shows Florida cities have better than average unemployment rates than rest of nation

According to federal data released by the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, cities in Florida are leading in terms of low unemployment rates compared to other densely populated states. The statistics show that various metropolitan areas in Florida, including Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, have unemployment rates as low as 2.4%, outperforming cities like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and New York. Furthermore, multiple cities in Florida have rates below the national average of 3.7%, with the state’s unemployment rate being 2.6% in May 2023. The data also reveals significant job growth in sectors such as health services and education, leisure and hospitality, and trade, transportation, and utilities, while the information sector experienced a slight decrease in employment opportunities. (Full story)


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