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Florida in focus: State budget boosts Brevard tourism and arts, hits lagoon and colleges

By   /   July 10, 2017  /   News  /   No Comments

Florida Today: State budget boosts Brevard tourism and arts, hits lagoon and colleges

Brevard County residents soon will see the effects of the state’s $82 billion budget everywhere —  including Port Canaveral, the Indian River Lagoon, local colleges, theaters, the Brevard Zoo and more.

Money for space and trade will bring upgrades and needed renovations to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the port, making way for better launch complexes and cargo facilities.

However, $410 million in record-setting vetoes spelled disappointment for Eastern Florida State College and the county’s lagoon cleanup efforts.

Gov. Rick Scott emphasized tax cuts for families and businesses, education, tourism, protecting the environment and, of course, jobs as his top priorities. He said he’s generally pleased with the final state budget, which he called the “Fighting for Florida’s Future Budget.”

Miami Herald: Did Miami’s biggest developer avoid labor taxes? The feds are investigating.

How workers are classified must be decided on a case-by-case basis. If companies wrongly treat employees as independent contractors — and don’t pay employment taxes — they violate the law.

Federal investigators are seeking to learn if the Related Group, Miami’s biggest developer, lowered costs on an affordable-housing project by hiring subcontractors who failed to pay employment taxes, the Miami Herald has learned.

The strategy involves treating workers as outside contractors instead of in-house employees. That allows companies to skip paying costly employment taxes.

Related hired subcontractors who did just that, according to certified payrolls obtained by the Herald through a public records request.

Florida Times-Union: Treasury Secretary says no to tax hike on wealthy

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday the Trump administration isn’t considering a tax increase on wealthier Americans, knocking down a report that White House adviser Steve Bannon had floated the idea as a way to pay for tax cuts for middle-income taxpayers.

“I have never heard Steve mention that,” Mnuchin said.

The administration is aiming to release its full tax plan by September and have Congress approve it by the end of the year, Mnuchin said on ABC News’ “This Week.” So far, the administration has issued a one-page summary of broad principles for tax reform, but few details.

The administration says it wants to reduce the top income tax bracket from 39.6 percent to 35 percent and lower tax rates for the middle class. Bannon’s idea would boost the top rate above 40 percent for people who earn nearly $420,000 a year or more, according to a July 2 report on the website Axios.