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January 28, 2010; St. Petersburg Times | Here at NPQ we’ve been following many of the states’ budget crises and their effects on the nonprofit sector. We’ll be following more states in the weeks and months ahead.

This article from the St. Petersburg Times reminds us that states everywhere are hurting, particularly Florida. The sunshine state has a projected $57 million decline in property tax revenue on top of the more than $120 million in cuts commissioners were forced to make for the current fiscal year. Commissioners have already tentatively approved cutting programs for seniors next year and will cut spending on nonprofit groups, limiting expenditures to those groups that protect the welfare of residents.

Commissioner Al Higginbotham called for a closer examination of any nonprofit groups that are providing services that duplicate programs offered by the county or other nonprofits. It’s our contention that all nonprofits are in the business of protecting the welfare of the communities they serve. But it appears the hunt is on to trim the fat from an already lean environment.

As reported on this Web site and in our magazine [subscribe], “The Pew Center on the States ranks Florida among the 10 states in the worst financial condition based on a combination of distress indicators, including budget deficit, unemployment, and foreclosure rates. In other words, Florida faces California-like ‘fiscal peril.’”—Aaron Lester