Historically, Florida has been at the top of the list for retirees, empty nesters and seasonal dwellers. Recently, it has been attracting high net worth individuals coming from states with onerous state and local taxes such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California. N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo blamed a $2.3 billion dollar shortfall on the new federal tax law that he contends is driving tax payers from New York to Florida. With no state income tax and no inheritance tax, Florida is one of the most popular states for individuals looking for less burdensome taxes and a better quality of life. Florida reported the highest level of domestic migration between July 2017 and July 2018, according to a recently released U.S. Census Data report. New York is one of the states reporting one of the largest population decreases.
Economically, Florida is also outpacing many states. Here is an overview from the Commerce Committee: Florida’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew from 2.2% in 2017 to 4.5% for the second quarter of 2018. Florida’s GDP recently hit the $1trillion mark. If Florida were a country, its rank would be #17. Florida’s unemployment rate is 3.3% which is lower than the national rate of 3.7%.
Also, WalletHub, a financial website, ranked Florida first overall among the 50 states for tax friendliness, life expectancy, activities for seniors, museums, and theaters per capita. Florida ranked #1 for affordability, #7 for quality of life and #27 for healthcare. It also ranked Florida first for the best place to retire.
Closer to home, Bloomberg News Service recently named Fort Lauderdale as one of the top 21 bucket list travel destinations in the world. Only two other U.S. cities made the list, Houston and Savannah. Tourism has always been a key part of our economy and articles like this reinforce our image as a world class destination.