Florida cannot use federal bailout money from the CARES Act to shore up the most serious budgetary problems being caused by the coronavirus crisis, the anticipated collapse of tax revenue, the Florida Policy Institute warned Tuesday.
The group cited new guidelines published by the U.S. Treasury that advised that the $4.6 billion in federal coronavirus relief fund money Florida is expecting cannot be used to cover tax revenue shortfalls.
Nor can the CRF money be used to expand Florida’s Medicaid program, the group contended. Florida’s Medicaid program is expected to see dramatic new demands as newly unemployed Floridians lose their health care insurance and apply for Medicaid coverage.
The state has a double problem of receiving an unusually large portion of its tax revenue, nearly 80% of its general fund, through sales and use taxes. And Florida has an economy based significantly on tourism and hospitality, which are being mothballed during the crisis, causing those tax revenues to plummet.
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By: Scott Powers
April 29, 2020