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State News

Lottery up but property taxes down

By James Call

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-987864.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – The initial draft of revenue forecasts by the number-crunchers for the Legislature, show a mixed picture for education. James Call reports, proceeds from the Lottery and slot machines are up but revenue from property taxes will be down.

State economists spent Monday hashing out new estimates of how much money public schools will have next year. The Lottery and slot machines are producing more than expected. Amy Baker the state's chief economist says the latest projection puts an additional 100 million dollars in the education enhancement trust fund.

"So the revenues we thought we had for next year, in total are running just about 1.4 billion. And now we are going to be about 1.5 billion. So it is an improvement."

That improvement needs to be balanced with a drop in revenue from property taxes, the other major funding source for schools. Property values are expected to bottom out this year and remain flat next year.