Last week, a Miami-Dade grand jury proposed a number of recommendations to increase the state's sales tax collections. The grand jury initially criticized the Legislature for treating the Department of Revenue similarly to other state agencies by reducing the department's budget and positions over the past several years of state budget reductions. The grand jury found that the department not only has fewer employees to achieve its basic mission, but also is unable to continue to specific initiatives that educate business owners about their legal obligation to collect and remit sales taxes. The grand jury recommended that the Legislature change the point of collection for certain sales taxes from the retail to the wholesale level for certain merchandise, such as prepaid phone cards. The grand jury also provided a number of recommendations to the department, including conducting more investigations of CPAs, increasing third-party verification of sales tax collections, and increasing the number of taxpayer audits.