Winter 2013 Economic Updates

REVENUE ESTIMATING CONFERENCE.  The State Revenue Estimating Conference on Friday, December 6th to update their projections.  State economists predict an additional $324.3 million in tax revenues for the current and next fiscal years.  This is in addition to the $845.7 million that had previously been expected.

TAX CUTS.  With the increase in revenues, the debate has begun as to what to do with the nearly $1.2 billion in additional funding.  Governor Scott has already proposed a $500 million tax and fee cutting package, which includes keeping tuition at state colleges and universities steady.  The Legislature has discussed proposals ranging from a reduction in cell phone and cable television taxes to tax free days on the purchase of back to school and hurricane supplies.  The revenue estimating conference has placed a cost of $600 million on these preliminary proposals.

UNEMPLOYMENT.  Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.7% in October, which represents the lowest rate in over five years.  The month was especially productive on the job creation front when 44,600 new jobs were added, which represents the largest number since 2010.  Skeptics have suggested that the drop is actually the result of a technicality where workers give up looking for employment and therefore are not counted as part of the workforce.

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