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Florida Estimators Predict Growing Revenue

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Florida lawmakers could have a little more wiggle room when they draw up next year’s budget. The state’s revenue forecasters are projecting continued growth over the next three years. Their estimates show a 4-and-half-percent increase in general revenue each year. But the state’s chief economist, Amy Baker, said the federal budget cuts associated with sequestration are causing some uncertainty in their model. Baker said she sees no evidence right now to believe the sequester is going to be reversed.

“Federal agencies have been able to use reserves and delay planning activities to kind of mitigate all the effects up to this point, and all the analysis seem to indicate that’s about run out. And if the sequester continues into this year, you’re not going to have all those strategies available to you. Once you spend a reserve down to zero it’s gone,” Baker said.

The state’s sales tax makes up a major part of the general revenue fund. Officials said income collected from sales tax is starting to recover, after shrinking due to tighter consumer spending during the recent recession.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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