Primary Season State Profile: Florida

Published by Peter Lawrence on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 12:00am

In 2014, 17 percent of Florida’s 19.1 million residents lived in poverty, including 24 percent of children, ranking the state 36th and 37th in those measures nationally. The U.S. Census reported that in 2012 Florida ranked 50th in the number of housing units in the state that were affordable and available to households with very low incomes. More than 768,640 households in Florida pay more than half their income on rent.

Politics

  • Presidential primary: March 15, 2016
  • Number of delegates: 99 Republican/246 Democratic
  • Allocation method: Winner-take-all (Republican)/Proportional (Democratic)
  • 29 electoral votes
  • 2012 Results: President Obama won Florida by 50 percent to 49 percent over Mitt Romney.

Tax Credit Usage in Florida

In 2013, the Florida Housing Finance Corporation approved $46.4 million in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTCs) for 28 affordable rental housing developments containing 2,083 affordable housing units. In 2013, 31 percent of allocated LIHTCs were for elderly residents and the rest were designated for families. To understand Florida’s LIHTC priorities, the state’s qualified allocation plan (QAP) is here.

Blog Graph Snapshot: LIHTC Properties and Poverty Rates in Florida
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The LIHTC, new markets tax credit (NMTC) and historic tax credit (HTC) have combined to assist in the addition of more than 219,000 jobs in Florida. For other impacts the credits have had in the state, see the table below.

Blog Chart LIHTC, NMTC and HTC Use in Florida
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Renewable Energy Landscape

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reports that Florida currently has 14 active wind-related manufacturing facilities and in 2014 the wind energy industry in Florida directly or indirectly supported between 1,000 and 2,000 jobs. In 2015, Florida also increased its investment in wind energy when Gulf Power signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) to import 180 MW of wind energy into the state, the first approved wind PPA for the state.

Despite being known as the “sunshine state,” the 266 MW of solar energy currently installed in Florida ranks the state 13th in the country in installed solar capacity, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). SEIA says several large retailers in Florida have gone solar, including Ace Hardware and Whole Foods. Ikea has installed one of the largest corporate photovoltaic systems in the state with 1,189 kW of solar capacity. There are currently more than 425 solar companies at work in Florida, employing 6,600 people.