Friday, April 2, 2010


1) People are moving out of Florida looking for work or just fed up.

2) The tax base has eroded (see #1) - homes are vacant, selling for less, values are down, no one is buying like they used to - sales tax revenue is down. All tax revenue is down.

3) Cities, like Tampa, acknowledge the trend and are cutting services and positions - to raise the tax rate is self-defeating.

4) Teachers, cops, firemen, judges and others who participate in the Florida Retirement System - which has remained strong during these times - are being targeted for benefit cutbacks, broken promises mean nothing. Looks like the Social Security template - break open the lock box.

5) Teachers are being subjected to heavy handed political bills designed to fundamentally change their pay structure. I won't bore you by repeating how severe and unfair they are. If you are here - you know.

What's coming:

The most experienced talented teachers will go where the money is: out of state, at worst or at best another career.

More homes go up for sale.

** If they sell, they sell for less and all values go down. With the reduction in value, the tax base (and revenues) decline.
** They are replaced with inexperienced and recently graduated teachers who see the futility of not enrolling in graduate degrees (because there is no financial incentive to do so then the post grad university closes or is downsized). They take the job with the intention of gaining experience before moving to a state that pays more.
** The newly hired have no money or intention to buy any of the houses up for sale because they are not committed to staying.
They rent or lease. Student loans are due.

** The other pool of potential talent will be drawn from states that pay even less than Florida - states that have fallen below Florida in education.
** Businesses (already aware of the shallow labor pool) will be reluctant (even with tax breaks) to locate to Florida. Employee push-back will occur due to concern over the education system. Think Bill Gates has ever considered moving MS to Florida?
** Retirees hear the horror stories and begin to look elsewhere.
** Not even Disney can shore up the state.