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Could Culture Wars Be the Cause of the Mass Exodus in Florida?

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Could Culture Wars Be the Cause of the Mass Exodus in Florida?
Source: Pinterest

Could Culture Wars Be the Cause of the Mass Exodus in Florida?

Source: Pinterest

Florida is the dream location for a lot of Americans. However, not all that glitters is gold, especially when it comes to this Sunshine State.

Florida, the Dream State

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For many years, Florida has been seen as a dream state where people can live and feel like they’re on vacation at the same time. People have moved to Florida, hoping that they get to live a sunnier, healthier, and happier life in the Sunshine State. However, the reality is far from the truth, and many people are beginning to realize this.

More Than 700,00 Americans Moved to Florida in 2022

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Since 2022, Florida has been the second-fastest-growing state in the country. This is also proven by a report by the Census Bureau, which showed that more than 700,000 Americans moved to Florida in 2022. However, about 500,000 residents also left the state that same year. According to various sources, their reasons are the increasing property taxes, soaring insurance costs, extreme weather, frustrating traffic, and the constant culture war.

Moving to Florida to Avoid Income Tax

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Florida is a unique state as it is one of only nine states in the entire country that does not charge any form of income tax. Therefore, people moved there hoping to reduce their expenses and taxes. However, this did not exactly go as planned. The state’s property taxes have been increasing significantly and experts estimate a further rise of 6% every year.

Increased Home Insurance

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Florida also recently experienced a huge surge in housing costs which can also be related directly to the increase in property taxes. As the country generally faces a rising inflation rate, Florida is not left out of the struggle. In addition, the new residents in the state have complained about the insurance cost of their homes being way higher than what they paid in other states.

Insurance Rose 42% in 2023

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In 2023 alone, the average rate for homeowners insurance rose by 42%, implying a higher statewide average of $6,000 a year. Therefore, it is safe to say that homes in Florida are just as expensive as those in other states. The property taxes are also not lower like most people thought. This could be a good reason why those who were already living in Florida decided to leave.

Not the Dream Vacation Expected

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The Sunshine State is seen as a good vacation spot with its beautiful beaches and hot spots like Disney World. Therefore, most people believe that they can move there and live a happy life that looks like a dream. Sadly, this isn’t the reality. Most residents of the state are constantly worried about extreme weather and horrible traffic throughout the state.

Florida’s Weather Crisis

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In 2023 alone, the Sunshine State experienced a traumatic Atlantic Hurricane Season. It experienced 21 storms and seven hurricanes. Three of these were major ones and caused a lot of damage. Hurricane Idalia, in particular, hit Keaton Beach, Florida, on August 30, 2023, and left a huge mess in its wake. It destroyed about 6,000 homes and caused major flooding as well.

The Downside

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Jodi Cummings moved to Florida from Connecticut in 2021 and told the press that it wasn’t what he expected. “It wasn’t the utopia on any level that I thought it would be,” he said. “I thought Florida would be an easier lifestyle, I thought the pace would be a little bit quieter, I thought it would be warmer. I didn’t expect it to be literally 100 degrees at night. [It’s] not anything like I thought it would be.”

The Blue vs. Red Culture War

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The culture war in Florida between the Red and Blue residents is also a major issue. Barb Carter, who moved from Kansas to Florida, said, “You cannot engage in a conversation there without politics coming up; it is just crazy.” “We’re retired. We’re supposed to be in our fun time of life. I learned quickly [to] just keep your mouth shut because I saw people in my own community break up their friendships over it. I don’t like losing friends, especially over politics.”

Florida’s Controversial Governor and Politics

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Florida’s political scene is also more diverse than most states. Over the past few years, Republican Ron DeSantis has made many political decisions that many have termed controversial. He passed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” in schools, banned racial and LGBTQ+ topics, fought publicly with Disney and changed the state’s abortion laws. His administration has fueled a lot of culture wars around the state and this is another thing some people didn’t expect.

Should Americans Be Scared of Florida?

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Some residents and politicians admire DeSantis’ method of ruling. However, others disagree, mostly Democrats. Democratic US Representative Maxwell Frost from Florida told the press, “What’s been happening … in Florida should scare every single person across the entire country… [it] should frighten anyone who values democracy, voting rights, civil rights, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Florida’s Expectations VS Reality

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The sad truth which many people do not want to hear, is that Florida is not exactly what they see in the movies. Unlike what the postcards promote, the state can not give them the peaceful, affordable, and aesthetically pleasing life that they seek. Therefore, experts are predicting that many more residents will move away from Florida in 2024 if things do not change.