And despite the cries about being a donor county, Miami-Dade legislators have a good record of bringing home the bacon, or as Florida TaxWatch calls it, turkeys. The county had the largest number of projects that Florida TaxWatch labeled turkeys for the 2013 session.
In 2008, the Miami Herald spent three months quantifying the amount that Miami-Dade and Broward counties sent in taxes and fees to the state and how much the counties get back. Reporter Gary Fineout (now with the Associated Press) examined sales-tax revenues, documentary taxes, gas taxes, health care assessments, intangible taxes, insurance and utility taxes, slot machine revenues, and lottery sales. Not all tax revenues were available for a breakdown by county -- for example the cigarette and utilities tax, so the Herald came up with an estimate.
Then the Herald calculated spending on education, healthcare, transportation, criminal justice, salaries of public institutions and some general-fund expenditures. Some spending was omitted since it was difficult to assign a county -- for example, how do you account for a prison in northern Florida that houses many inmates from South Florida.
The conclusion: In 2007, the two counties sent at least $7.15 billion to the state, while the state government spent about $6.69 billion on them. (The article didn’t rank all counties in the state.)
Then House Speaker Marco Rubio, now Florida’s Republican U.S. senator, told the Herald at the time that it was simplistic to suggest that his county Miami-Dade was getting "run over by other parts of the state," because many parts of the budget are driven by formulas based on population.
For example, Miami-Dade received about $2.4 billion for K-12 education in 2013-14 through the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP), which includes state and local education funds. The school district is the largest in the state and not surprisingly received the highest total.
Total reimbursements to Medicaid providers were higher in Miami-Dade County -- $3.5 billion -- than any other county in Florida in 2011-12. That money is a combination of state, federal and local dollars, said Shelisha Coleman, a spokeswoman for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.
Garcia said that Miami-Dade County is the "No. 1 donor county in the state."
Garcia points to Miami-Dade contributing the most in sales taxes to the state. This isn’t surprising, though, since it is the largest county and a big tourism market.
But budget experts warned us that it is difficult to create a ledger with spending and revenues and assign all those dollars to particular counties. Also, some money received by the county is based on a population formula and some revenues sent to the state are from tourists, not resident taxpayers. So far, we have seen no proof that Miami-Dade earns that top donor label spot, nor can we name any other county.
At PolitiFact we believe the burden of proof is on the person making the statement and Garcia hasn’t done that here.
We rate this claim Mostly False.