Issues of Interest

SCAMS RELATED TO COVID Attorney General Ashley Moody has issued a consumer alert about new scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The scams run the gamut from text messages and phone calls to impostors posing as health workers offering free COVID-19 tests. We all must remember to never give out personal or financial information to solicitors and not to open links in text messages or emails that are unfamiliar.

MASKS ON AIRLINES Spirit Airlines, based in Miramar, will require passengers and attendants to wear face masks while travelling on its planes as of May 11th. There are exemptions for children. Spirit follows several airlines’ new practices for wearing face masks, changing seating of passengers and increasing cleaning of its aircraft.

SALES TAX COLLECTIONS The state announced that its Mach sales tax collections were $773 million below the previously estimated $3.1  billion. The Department of Revenue is projecting an even steeper drop in collections for April.

TOURISM Florida’s number one industry, tourism, has taken a big hit economically. A record 126 million visitors came to our state in 2018, with the 2019 numbers anticipated soon. While everyone awaits the reopening of Disney and Universal Studios, who are developing plans to open at a lower capacity, smaller attractions and tourist sites are also suffering. Hotels and restaurants clearly have been hit hard with the lack of travel. Vacation rentals are not allowed to operate per the Governor’s executive order; however, many beaches are open with limited use. As summer approaches, these conditions, should they continue, could further devastate Florida’s tourism industry.