Tallahassee Business Journal May-June 2008Your Business
Compiled by Jason Dehart
IN THE NEWSIs Florida Losing Its Allure?
Don’t look now, but that dust on Interstate 10 westbound may not trail the car of a happy camper heading to Pensacola for the weekend. Instead, it could be a disgruntled Florida resident moving to California or some other western state.
According to Atlas Van Lines’ 2007 “Migration Patterns Study,” the moving company has moved more Floridians out of the state than new residents into it for two years in a row.
Meanwhile, California recorded more inbound moves than outbound for the first time in seven years.
What’s to blame for this shift? Natural disasters and economics, according to Greg Hoover, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Atlas World Group.
“Overall, the number of household goods moves was down for the industry, as the post-Katrina exodus from Louisiana into the surrounding states leveled off and the housing market continued to stagnate,” Hoover says. “Real estate costs undoubtedly influenced migration patterns this year as well.”
Atlas officials say that in the Southeast, post-Katrina emigration has stabilized this year. Relocation traffic out of Louisiana and Mississippi finally leveled out, and the heavy migration to surrounding states such as Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and Georgia returned to normal.
DOLLARS & CENTS
Where’s That Tax Refund?
If you filed your tax return early there’s a strong chance you still may have to wait a while for your refund, according to the IRS. The delay is caused by the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) legislation passed in December.
The new law won’t affect most tax filers, but those who include any of the following five forms with their 2007 individual tax return will experience delays:
Form 8863, Education Credits
Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits
Schedule 2 (Form 1040A), Child and Dependent Care Expenses for Form 1040A filers
Form 8396, Mortgage Interest Credit
Form 8859, District of Columbia First-Time Homebuyers Credit
Employee Training Pays Off
In a highly competitive business world, the demand for skilled workers exceeds the supply. That’s why it behooves an employer to set up an employee training program to keep his or her workers sharp, effective and productive. Allbusiness.com has the following tips:
Emphasize training as an investment.
Determine your needs.
Promote a culture of learning.
Get management on board.
Start out small.
Choose quality instructors and materials.
Find the right training location.
Clarify the relevancy of the jobtraining.
Make it ongoing.
Measure the results.
DID YOU KNOW?
More Single Women Buying Homes
The Florida Association of Realtors reports one in three Florida homebuyers is single, with single women accounting for 21 percent of homes purchased in 2007. Single men accounted for 12 percent. Unmarried couples accounted for six percent of sales. These are just some of the findings released in the Florida version of the National Association of Realtors’ “2007 Profile of Florida Homebuyers and Sellers.”
Other interesting facts:
The median age of homebuyers was 43 years old. Among first-time homebuyers, the median age was 32.
Thirty-eight percent of homebuyers reported using social networking Web sites, such as MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn and Friendster. Among homebuyers aged 18-24, 76 percent reported using social networking sites.
Forty-nine percent of first-time homebuyers were between 25 and 34 years old.
First-time homebuyers accounted for 38 percent of the homes purchased in 2007.
The typical homebuyer purchased a home more than 1,700 square feet in size.
The median price of Florida homes purchased was $230,000 compared to $215,000 in the U.S.