,.. ,. : . _
S THE FLORIDA INDEX OF TAXPAYING ABILITY
REQUIRED .-COUNTY EFFORT
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.Thomas D .B
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
ac ', Ta-.l'iahass4ee Floridao
so July, 1960
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- 7 as a revision of Research Report
eseachieort -.7 is a revision of .Research Report
6 prepared -by the Research .and Statistics Sec-
'timn.oofrthe Division of Administration and Finance
6 .'the -Flprida State Department of Education.
The-preparation of these reports is one phase in the
l.pement.ation of Florida's plan for improving sta-
tisticalX:services of the State Department of Educa-
tion under-the provisions of Title X, National De-
fense Education Act.
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THE FLORIDA INDEX OF TAXPAYING ABILITY
AND THE REQUIRED COUNTY EFFORT
Paying for Florida's Minimum Foundation Program for Education is a joint
state-county responsibility. The amount that all of the counties together
are required to provide is equal to ninety-five percent of the calculated
yield of six mills of taxes levied on the non-exempt assessed valuation of
the state. This is referred to as the "six-mill equivalent" and as the
"county minimum financial effort," The figure of ninety-five percent is
used since it is assumed that at least ninety-five percent of the taxes
levied are collected. The rate of six mills was established by the legis-
lature as "fair and reasonable," Non-exempt assessed valuation refers to
the assessed value of the property on which taxes are levied. It does not
include property coming under the Homestead Exemption Law. It is the as-
sessed value rather than the cash value or actual value of such property.
The amount of money provided by the counties as their contribution to
the cost of the Minimum Foundation Program is determined independently of
the total cost of the program. The county minimum financial effort is de-
ducted from the total cost of the Minimum Foundation Program; the remainder
is the state's share.
As the non-exempt assessed valuation of the state increases, the mini-
mum local effort required from the counties increases. This holds true re-
gardless of the cost of the total Minimum Foundation Program. Increases in
the value of an instruction unit, for example, do not affect the minimum
The dollar amount each county is required to provide is computed by
multiplying that county's percent of the financial ability of the state, as
determined by an Index of Taxpaying Ability, times the dollar amount that the
counties are required to provide collectively. The requirement for each county
depends on two things, (1) that county's Index of Taxpaying Ability, and (2) the
amount that a six-mill levy on ninety-five percent of the non-exempt assessed
valuation of the state will produce.
Property is not assessed on the same basis throughout the state. Assess-
ments reportedly range from twenty-seven to one hundred percent of actual cash
value in different counties. This condition makes necessary the use of some
standard other than assessed valuation in determining the relative (comparative)
taxpaying ability of the several counties. The Index of Taxpaying Ability was
developed to provide such a standard. This Index does not depend on property
assessments to measure ability to pay taxes. It uses other "factors" or meas-
urements as indicators of financial ability.
The factors used in the Florida Index of Taxpaying Ability are given below.
All are factors for which objective figures are available. They are factors
which in one way or another indicate something of the ability of the people of
a county to pay taxes to support their schools. The factors now used are:
1. Sales tax collections as reported by the Comptroller.
2. Number of gainfully employed workers excluding government and farm
workers, taken from the latest United States Census.
3. Value of farm products taken from the latest official United States
Census of Agriculture.
h. Valuation of railroad and telegraph property as reported by the
5. Automobile license tag sales (passenger cars) as reported by the
Motor Vehicle Commission.
Sales tax collections, valuation of railroad and telegraph property, and
automobile license tag sales vary from year to year. The other two factors,
gainfully employed workers and value of farm products depend on the United
States Census are therefore are available at ten-year periods rather than at
Each county's percentage of the state total in each of the above fac-
tors is determined by dividing the state total into each county's total.
For example, the total sales tax collected in Florida is divided into the
sales tax collected in each county; the number of gainfully employed work-
ers in the state is divided into the number of gainfully employed workers
in each county. This is done for each factor in the Index for each county.
Each county's percent of the state total of each of the five factors
is multiplied by the weight assigned to each factor by law (Section 236,071
(2) Florida Statutes). The sum of the products is that county's Index of
This can be stated another way. The Index of Taxpaying Ability of each
county is expressed in terms of its percent of the total taxpaying ability
of all the counties combined. This is determined as follows: Find the sum
of the county's percent of sales tax returns multiplied by .3654 plus its
percent of gainfully employed workers (less government and farm workers)
multiplied by .2hh2 plus its percent of the value of farm products multi-
plied by .0586 plus its percent of the railroad and telegraph assessments
multiplied by .0h61 plus its percent of automobile tag sales multiplied
The indices of taxpaying ability of all the counties add up to 100 per-
cent. To find the dollar amount that each county is required to provide it
is necessary to multiply that county's Index of Taxpaying Ability by the
dollar amount that the counties are required to provide collectively.
Counties having junior colleges or participating in the support of a
junior college under the Minimum Foundation Program are required to increase
their local minimum effort by five percent. An additional five percent ef-
fort is required for counties having kindergarten programs under the program.
To raise the required "six-mill equivalent" for participation in the Mini-
mum Foundation Program, some counties find it necessary to levy more than six
mills local tax while other counties may obtain their minimum requirement by a
tax levy of less than six mills. Low property assessment practices usually re-
sult in higher required tax rates. Conversely, high property assessments usu-
ally result in required levies below six mills Tax levies, of course run higher
than the minimum required to meet the county's requirements under the Minimum
Foundation Program, Many necessary expenses are not covered by the minimum pro-
gram. Local taxes must be levied to meet these expenses.
Section 236.071(2), Florida Statutes, is the legal authority for the Index
of Taxpaying Ability. This Section states:
The legislature finds and declares that substantially equal
public educational advantages should obtain in all counties of
the state; that such equality does not now exist. In order to
provide in every county, from combined state and county sources,
substantially, equivalent educational advantages, the state min-
imum foundation program fund shall be, and it is hereby appor-
tioned and distributed on the basis of educational needs and
relative taxpaying ability as prescribed by law, in the ascer-
tainment of which, the state board shall determine (a) the rela-
tive ability of the several counties to support the cost of the
minimum foundation program by ad valorem taxation, such ability
to be determined by an index of relative taxpaying ability es-
tablished by law; (b) the cost of the minimum foundation program
as determined in Section 236.07. In deterr.JLin,:r said index of the
relative taxpaying ability of the several counties of Florida the
state superintendent shall find each county's percent of the state
total of each of the following factors sales tax returns, gain-
fully employed workers excluding government and farm workers,
value of farm products, assessed value of railroad and telegraph,
automobile tag registration. The Index of taxpaying ability for
each county expressed in terms of its percent of the state total
taxpaying ability shall be determined as follows: Find the sum
of the county's percent of sales tax returns multiplied by .3654
plus its percent of gainfully employed workers less government
and farm workers multiplied by .2h42 plus its percent of the value
of farm products multiplied by .0586 plus its percent of the rail-
road and telegraph assessments multiplied by oO.46 plus its per-
cent of automobile tag registrations multiplied by .2857? further-
more, if any county fails for any reason to make the nird mum finan-
cial effort required for the minimum foundation program, the state's
portion of the foundation program allocation to that county shall be
decreased proportionately. The state superintendent shall obtain
data for the factors included in the index from the most reliable
published source as determined by the state board of education,
Section 236.07(8), Florida Statutes, provides the legal authority and
prescribes the procedure to be followed in determining the minimum financial
effort in each fiscal year required of the several counties.
The amount which each county shall provide toward the cost of
the minimum foundation program is that county's percent of the fin-
ancial ability of the state as determined by an index of relative
taxpaying ability prescribed by law multiplied by ninety-five per-
cent (95%) of the calculated yield of six (6) mills of taxes levied
on the non-exempt assessed valuation of the state, subject to the
provisions of Section 236.071. The financial effort of any county
toward meeting the cost of the minimum foundation program for that
county shall consist of the proceeds of either county or district
or of both county and district current school taxes provided, that
when a county is levying the maximum twenty (20) mills race track
and federal impact receipts may be included. If a county requests
that instruction units for kindergartens be included in its mini-
mum foundation program and is entitled to such units under the laws
of the state, the financial effort required of that county as pre-
scribed herein shall be increased by five percent (5%). If a county
is approved by the state board to operate a junior college, the fin-
ancial effort required of that county and of each county participat-
ing in the support of such junior college as prescribed herein,
shall be equal to five percent(5%) of the amount required for grades
one (1) through twelve (12) in the respective counties; . .
An example of how the Index of Taxpaying Ability works in a specific
county will serve to make the computation and application of the Index
clearer. Alachua County is used for purposes of illustration.
The first step is to determine what percent of the state total of each
of the five factors in the Index is found in Alachua County. This is accomp-
lished by dividing the state total for each factor into the Alachua County
total for each factor.
1. Sales tax returns
The total sales tax collected from all the counties for the fiscal
year ending June 30, 1959, as taken from the Report of the Comptrol-
ler, amounted to $139,047,361.17. Of this total state return Alachua
County reported $1,383,631.72. Dividing the state total into the
amount reported from Alachua County gives this county's share of the
state total as .9951 percent.
2. Gainfully employed workers
From the 1950 United States Census, there were 825,874 gainfully
employed workers other than government workers and farm workers in
Florida. Alachua County had 13,081 such workers. This is 1.5839
percent of the state total.
3. Value of farm products
From the 1950 United States Census of Agriculture, the value of all
farm products in the state amounted to $338,645,416. Of this state
total, $5,125,903, or 1.5137 percent, was from Alachua County.
4. Valuation of railroad and telegraph property
The total value of railroad and telegraph property in Florida, taken
from the Report of County Finances, State Comptroller, was $289,907,643.
Of this total, $9,752,2141, or 3.3639 percent, was reported from Alachua
5. Automobile tag sales
The total state revenue from the sale of automobile license tags (pas-
senger automobiles) for 1959, according to the report of the Motor
Vehicle Commission, was $29,643,246.37. Alachua County's share was
$372,211.33, or 1.2556 percent of the state total.
Since it must be recognized that all of the above factors are not of equal
importance as indicators of the ability of a county to support its schools, the
next step is to apply "weights" to each factor. These weights were derived
through detailed mathematical processes and now are prescribed by law (Section
236.071(2), Florida Statutes).
Factor Percent of Times Prescribed Equals Weighted
State Total Weight Percent
Sales Tax Returns .9951 x .3654 = .3636
Workers 1.5839 x .2442 = .3868
Value of Farm
Products 1.5137 x .0586 = .0887
Valuation of R.R,
and Tel. Property 3.3639 x .O061 =.151
Auto Tag Sales 1.2556 x .2857 = .3587
Totals 1.0000 1.3529
Alachua County's Index of Taxpaying Ability thus is found to be 1.3529.
This means that according to the factors used in the Index as measures of tax-
paying ability, Alachua County has 1.3529 percent of the state's ability to
support the Minimum Foundation Program.
For the year used in this example, the state total non-exempt assessed
property valuation was $7,557,655,603. The amount that the counties col-
lectively are required to provide is found by multiplying the total non-
exempt assessed valuation of the state by six mills by ninety-five percent.
This formula presumes a ninety-five percent collection. (7,557,655,603 x
.006 x .95 = 43,078,637) This $43,078,637 is the total amount which must
be provided by all of the counties together toward meeting the costs of
the Minimum Foundation Program.
Alachua County's ability to pay has been determined already to be
1.3529 percent of the ability of all of the counties together. To find
the amount which Alachua County must provide, it is necessary only to mul-
tiply Alachua County's Index of Taxpaying Ability times the total amount
that the counties collectively are required to provide (43,078,637 x .013529
= 582,811). Alachua County's share of the total cost of the Minimum Founda-
tion Program thus is found to be $582,811.
Alachua County has a kindergarten program for which it receives instruc-
tion units under the Minimum Foundation Program. Therefore, the share pro-
vided by this county must be increased by five percent (582,811 x .05 =
29.141). This means that $29,141 must be added to Alachua County's share
in the cost of the program (582,811 + 29,141 = 611,952). Alachua County's
total minimum local effort is $611,952, which amount this county must pro-
vide from local county sources in order to participate fully in the Minimum
To provide the required $611,952 from local ad valorem taxes it is
necessary for Alachua County to make a tax levy of approximately eight mills
on non-exempt property in the county. One point should be made here. The
total minimum local effort for the counties collectively was computed on
the basis of non-exempt assessments from the 1959 tax roll. The actual tax
levies by the counties are levied on the 1960 tax roll. In a county in which
the tax roll is increasing rapidly, this affords some advantage to the county.
None of the above should be taken to mean that Alachua County is limited
to an eight mill levy. This is merely the minimum required to qualify under
the Minimum Foundation Program Law. Actually this county levies over eighteen
mills in order to provide a better educational opportunity for its boys and
girls than the bare minimum, All counties have a tax rate in excess of the
minimum. This is necessary because many requirements are not covered in the
Minimum Foundation Program.
Had Alachua County participated in a junior college program for which
instruction units were earned under the Minimum Foundation Program, another
five percent would have been added to its minimum effort in order to qualify,
However, Section 230.48(2) provides that "no county board or group of county
boards operating a junior college shall be required to make a financial effort
to support the junior college of more than fifty percent of the total cost of
the minimum foundation program for such junior college"
If Alachua County did not have a kindergarten program, then only its con-
tribution to the basic program would be required.
The same procedure is followed in computing and applying the Index of Tax-
paying Ability for each of the counties. The basic requirement is increased
five percent for a kindergarten program and five percent for a junior college
program earning units under the Minimum Foundation Program, In a few instances,
counties have had both junior college and kindergarten programs, whereby their
minimum local effort was increased by ten percent.
SOME QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON THE FLORIDA INDEX
OF TAXPAYING ABILITY AND ITS APPLICATION
1. If the non-exempt property assessments in one county were doubled,
could this have any effect on the minimum local effort required of
a county in another section of the state?
Answer., Yes. The total state non-exempt valuation would be raised,
thus increasing slightly the amount the counties collec-
tively have to provide.
2. If a county decided to cut school expenses by using only Rank IV,and
Rank V teachers, reducing services, and delaying building repairs,
would this action reduce the amount of money required to meet that
county's minimum local effort under the Minimum Foundation Program?
Answer. No. The required local effort is not based on costs within
the county. The county's required local effort would not
3. If allocations for teachers' salaries are increased under the Min-
imum Foundation Program Law, what effect does this action have on
the county's required minimum effort?
Answer. It has no effect. The required minimum effort is not
based on the cost of the program,
4. If the Index of Taxpaying Ability and the non-exempt assessed val-
uation of a county remain the same but the non-exempt assessed
valuation of the state increases, what logically would be the ef-
fect on the number of mills of local taxation required to meet
that county's share in the cost of the Minimum Foundation Program?
Answer, The rate would have to be increased since the county would
have to raise more money on the same assessed valuation,
5. The amount of money that the counties collectively are required to
provide under the Minimum Foundation Program Law is determined by
the total state non-exempt property assessment. Why not use the
assessed property in each county to determine the amount each
county is required to provide instead of using the Index of Tax-
Answer. The ratio of assessed value to cash value varies widely
among counties. This would penalize the counties with
highest assessments and reward counties with lowest,
6. What would happen to the amount a county receives from the state if the
county failed to provide its minimum required effort?
Answer. The state's portion of the Minimum Foundation Program alloca-
tion to that county would be decreased proportionately.
7. Is the amount of money a county receives from the state under the Mini-
mum Foundation Program reduced if the county raised, through local taxes,
considerably more money than it is required to raise under the Minimum
Answer. No. The additional funds are retained and used in the county.
8. If a county has a kindergarten or junior college program, paid for wholly
from county taxes, on which it does not earn instruction units under the
Minimum Foundation Program, is the county required to increase its local
effort by five percent?
Answer. No. The five percent requirement holds only if the kindergarten
or junior college earns units under the foundation program.
9. If a county has both a kindergarten program and a junior college program
for which the county earns instruction units under the foundation program,
by what percent would the minimum county effort have to be increased?
Answer, Ten percent five percent for the kindergarten and five percent
for the junior college program,
10. Is it safe to assume that the ratio between a county's required minimum
effort and the total cost of its Minimum Foundation Program will remain
at the same ratio (percent) from year to year?
Answer. This assumption is not sound. The ratio does not remain con-
stant. Required minimum effort and total cost of the Minimum
Foundation Program are computed separately.
11. If a county adds an exceptional child program, approved by the State
Department of Education, to its educational program, will this increase
that county's required minimum effort?
Answer. No. The required minimum effort is computed separately from
the cost of the program,
12. If the same five factors are used, why does a county's Index of Tax-
paying Ability change from year to year?
Answer, Because of changes in the county's percent of the state totals
in the factors making up the Index,
13. Does a county's Index of Taxpaying Ability ever go down?
Answer. Yes. The indices of all the counties total 100 percent.
All counties could not have an increase in their index,
14. What is the difference between a county's "required local effort"
and the same county's "minimum required county effort"?
Answer. There is no difference. This also is sometimes called
the "county minimum contribution", "county requirement",
or "minimum local effort".
15. Is property coming under the Homestead Exemption Law included in
determining the total non-exempt assessed valuation of the state?
Answer. No. The assessed value of homesteads is not included.
16. Why can some counties meet their minimum local requirement with
a tax levy of less than four mills while other counties have to
levy over nineteen mills?
Answer. Primarily because of
the dollar amount is
rates, a county with
its requirement with
local assessment practices. Since
fixed independently of local tax
high assessed valuations can meet
THE REVISED INDEX OF TAXPAYING ABILITY
FOR THE YEAR 1960-61
Sales Tax Gainfully Farm Valuation of Auto Tag Index of
Returns Employed Products R.R. & Tel. Sales Taxpaying
Counties 1958-59 Workers 1950 1950 Property 1959 1959 Ability
(Comptroller) (U.S.Census) (U.S.Census) (Comptroller) (M.V.C.)
.3654 .2142 .0586 .0461 .2857
Alachua .9951 1.5839 1.5137 3.3639 1.2556 1.3529
Baker .0340 .1790 .2246 .9012 .1242 .1463
Bay 1.0694 1.2876 .1004 .8771 1.2494 1.1085
Bradford .1165 .3336 .2237 .7362 .2120 .2317
Brevard 1.6222 .7737 1.3183 2.2075 2.2453 1.6022
Broward 8.0255 3.3989 4.1889 1.3848 7.8087 6.3028
Calhoun .0480 .1793 .2275 .0226 .0908 .1016
Charlotte .1684 .1486 .1821 .7654 .2935 .2276
Citrus .1029 .1999 .1812 1.4479 .1860 .2169
Clay .1329 .2694 .3945 .7417 .3645 .2758
Collier .3196 .2769 1.0512 .5850 .3447 .3715
Columbia .2045 .5943 .5297 .8494 .3104 .3787
Dade 27,1207 21.9428 5.6689 4.5774 20.4167 21.6446
DeSoto .0902 .2860 .7706 .8913 .1881 .2428
Dixie .0363 .1148 .0798 .4250 .0692 .0853
Duval 9.6787 12.3221 1.8347 12.2924 8.1587 9.5508
Escambia 2.9066 3.0719 .5105 3.1432 3.1726 2.8935
Flagler .0768 .1118 .5284 .9842 .1167 .1650
Franklin .0461 .2109 .0306 .3418 .0873 .1108
Gadsden .2490 .6979 3.3428 1.1172 .3992 .6229
Gilchrist .0203 .0872 .2626 .4632 .0555 .0813
Glades .0176 .0522 .7355 .6054 .0344 .1000
Gulf .1232 .2879 .0292 .2454 .1571 .1732
Hamilton .0432 .2738 .4826 .3044 .0767 .1469
Hardee .1206 .3181 1.1174 .6991 .2344 .2864
Hendry .1329 .2213 2.0384 .3336 .1783 .2884
Hernando .1193 .2383 .4247 1.2464 .2125 .2448
Highlands .2861 .3993 1.4685 1.5632 .4410 .4862
Hillsborough 7.9385 9.6267 4.8535 6.4449 8.0192 8.1242
Holmes .0571 .3692 .5350 .4732 .1114 .1960
Indian River .4273
Palm Beach 5.2825
St. Johns .4909
St. Lucie .6462
Santa Rosa .3517
APPLICATION OF INDEX
(Used in computing county's
OF TAXPAYING ABILITY, 1960-61
part of Minimum Foundation Program)
Index of County Minimum Additional Additional
Counties Taxpaying Financial Required for Required for
Ability Effort Required Kindergarten Junior College
Grades 1-12 (5%) (5U)
Alachua 1.3529 $ 582,811 $ 29,141 $
Baker .1463 63,024
Bay 1.1085 477,527 23,876
Bradford .2317 99,813
Brevard 1.6022 690,206 34,510
Broward 6.3028 2,715,160 93,750*
Calhoun .1016 43,768 2,188 2,188
Charlotte .2276 98,047
Citrus .2169 93,438 4,672 4,672
Clay .2758 118,811 5,941
Collier .3715 160,037
Columbia .3787 163,139
Dade 21.6446 9,324,199 140,374-
DeSoto .2428 104,595
Dixie .0853 36,746 1,837
Duval 9.5508 h,114,354
Escambia 2.8935 1,246,480 62,324
Flagler .1650 71,080 3,554 3,554
Franklin .1108 47,731
Gadsden .6229 268,337
Gilchrist .0813 35,023 1,751
Glades .1000 43,079 2,154
Gulf .1732 74,612
Hamilton .1469 63,283 3,164
Hardee .2864 123,377
Hendry .2884 124,239
Hernando .2448 105,457
Highlands .4862 209,448
Hillsborough 8.1242 3,499,795
Holmes .1960 84,434
Indian River .5251 226,206 11,310
Jackson .6211 267,561 13,378
Jefferson .1987 85,597 4,280 1,280
Lafayette .0586 25, 244 1,262
Lake 1.3725 591,254
Lee 1.0701 460,985
Leon 1.3050 562,176
Levy .2440 105,112 5,256
Liberty .0565 24,339 1,217
Madison .2599 111961 P5598
Manatee 1.2275 52t3,790 26,440 2
Marion 1.1210 482,912 24,146
Martin .3502 150,861 7,543
Monroe .6493 279,710
Nassau .3717 160,123
Okaloosa .6166 265,623
Okeechobee .1255 54,064 2,703
Orange 5.3068 2,286,097
Osceola .3452 148,707
Palm Beach 50224 2,163,582 108,179
Pasco .7326 315,594
Pinellas 70084 3,019123 150,956
Polk 4.4574 1,920,187
Putnam .6243 268,940 13,447
St. LucieJohns .7261 312,794 15,640
St. Lucie .7743 333,558 16,675
Santa Rosa .3997 172,185 8,609
Sarasota 1 6154 695,892
Seminole .8522 367,116
Sumter .3087 132,984
Suwannee .3478 14952
Taylor .2615 112,651 5,633
Union .0816 35,152
Volusia 2.7155 1,169,800 58,490 58,490
Wakulla .0725 31, 232
Walsnton 2535 109,20
Washington .1612 69,443 3,472 3,472
TO- -100,0000 $43,078,637 $139,196 $857,373
* From estimated program in accordance with Section 230248(2), Florida Statutes.