Florida economists forecast rising tax collectionsby John Kennedy | December 14th, 2012
Florida analysts said Friday the state’s economy continues to show signs of life, with tax collections expected to rise another 4 percent next year.
A state revenue estimating conference is meeting to make adjustments to the forecast they last made in August, when they predicted lawmakers would have a robust $2.6 billion more revenue for 2013-14.
Rising costs and reserves will absorb most of that cash. But the Senate Budget Committee was told last week that the Legislature could have a surplus of almost $500 million when it convenes next spring, money that could make it easier to finance schools, social service programs, economic development efforts and other state priorities.
On Friday, economists representing the Legislature offered a darker revenue forecast than those made by Gov. Rick Scott’s office and the state’s Revenue Department. But the conference is expected to talk over the state’s economy for much of the day before settling on final revenue figures.
Still, this year’s general revenue total of about $25 billion remains well below the state’s high-water mark reached during the real estate bubble. In 2006-07, lawmakers expected $31.7 billion to flow into the fund before the bottom fell out of the nation’s economy.