State economist warns of lower revenue forecast

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State economist Amy Baker warned education stakeholders of a lower tax revenue forecast next month during a State Board of Education budget briefing, reports the News Service of Florida. Baker had projected growth in general revenue of 7.2 percent next year and property tax growth of about 2 percent statewide. “It will be a detectable change in that forecast,” Baker said. “You will have a bit more pressure on the local piece, the property tax dollars, than you originally anticipated. We thought there would be 2 percent growth but it definitely won’t be that.” Baker said. She said Florida’s brittle economy means some areas of the state may recover faster than others. “We believe it is going to unfold very slowly, very gradually,” Baker said. “We definitely do have growth coming in over the next two years, not so much from population because we have a low population forecast, but just from Floridians starting to feel better and…spending a little bit more.”  But Baker warned that if the economy stutters, “we are going to have a much different budget picture than we are looking at this moment.” The State Board of Education is conducting a budget workshop to prepare for its legislative budget requests, due in September.

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