The Office of Planning and Budget of the governor's office prepares and submits to the legislature the budget for each fiscal year, which runs from 1 July to 30 June. The largest expenditure items are education, health and social concerns, general government, and transportation. By prohibiting borrowing to finance operating expenses, Florida's constitution requires a balanced budget.
The issuance of state bonds is overseen by the State Board of Administration, which consists of the governor, the state treasurer, and the comptroller. Three principal types of bonds are issued. The first consists of bonds backed by the "full faith and credit" of the state and payable from general revenue. Issuance of such bonds generally requires voter approval. The second type consists of revenue bonds, payable from income derived from the capital project financed, for example, from bridge or highway tolls. The third type consists of bonds payable from a constitutionally specified source, for example, higher education bonds backed by the state gross receipts tax, or elementary and secondary education bonds backed by the motor vehicle license tax.
In 2000, the state administration enacted the largest tax cut in the state's history ($1.24 billion) involving an 11% reduction in the school property tax back to 1989 levels, a reductions in taxes on intangibles, a one-time 0.5% reduction in employers' payments to the unemployment compensation fund, a one-time $50 rebate on electricity billings, and an extension of the state's obligation to pay interest on tax refunds. In November 2000 Florida voters passed an amendment to the state constitution requiring construction of a high speed railway to begin not later than November 2003, and the voters approved constitutional amendments that mandated the state provide high-quality voluntary pre-kindergarten for all four-year olds by 2005, and that class sizes be reduced to prescribed limits by 2010 with the first reductions in 2003. Florida was projected to finish 2002/03 with a positive general fund balance of $140 million and about $960 million in its rainy day fund, but on 15 November 2002 the state reduced its revenue estimate by $7 million for the current year, and by $234 million for 2003/04. Also in 2002, the government raised the state's gasoline tax from 4 cents a gallon to 13.9 cents a gallon. Revenue shortfalls, together with mandated spending to implement the recent constitutional amendments, led to an estimated deficit for 2003/04 of $2 billion to $2.5 billion (about 10% of the state budget).
In 2002/03 expenditures from the general fund totaled $21.081 billion, 51.2% allocated to education, 25.5% to health and human services, 13.5% to public safety, 5% for government operations and the courts, 1.6% for economic development, and 0.75% for natural resources and the environment. The general fund accounted for only 36% of state administered funds, with over half (51.3%) coming from dedicated trust funds, of which Florida has over 400. In the recommended appropriations in the governor's budget for 2003/04, general fund expenditures were increased 3% to $21.7 billion (35% of total state administered expenditures), 51.5% for education, 25.9% for health and human services, 13.8% for public safety, 6.1% for government operations and the courts, 2.4% for economic opportunities, and 1.5% natural resources and the environment.
The following table from the US Census Bureau contains information on revenues, expenditures, indebtedness, and cash/securities for 2001.
|Population (thousands, 2001)||16,373||(X)||(X)|
|Liquor store revenue||–||–||–|
|Insurance trust revenue||2,166,240||4.67||132.31|
|Exhibit: Salaries and wages||8,438,503||16.79||515.39|
|Parks and recreation||173,936||0.35||10.62|
|Interest on general debt||1,061,867||2.11||64.85|
|Other and unallocable||5,081,338||10.11||310.35|
|Liquor store expenditure||–||–||–|
|Insurance trust expenditure||3,620,251||7.20||221.11|
|Debt at end of fiscal year||18,613,380||100.00||1,136.83|
|Cash and security holdings||103,313,635||100.00||6,310.00|