Florida’s general revenue collections in the month of September were $442.2 million, or 15.7%, more than what economists for the Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) expected in the predictions made at the General Revenue Estimating Conference in August.
The estimated total for general revenue in September was $2.8 billion, while the actual total was $3.3 billion. Additionally, September was the 14th consecutive month that the state of Florida recorded more than what the EDR predicted.
Of the revenue recorded in September, the EDR’s report from Wednesday states that 93% of the total gain in revenue came from Sales Tax revenue and Corporate Income Tax, with 45.4% and 47.4%, respectively.
After adjustments to the sales-tax collection total for audits, bad checks, transfers, and local taxes and distributions were made, sales-tax revenue accounted for $200.6 million, or 10.3%, over the estimated total. Corporate income tax collections were $209.7 million, or a 41.4% overestimation.
As for the cause of the boost in collections, the report says, “September collections reflect activity that largely occurred in August, which continued to benefit from the most recent round of stimulus checks to households, redirected spending from the hard-hit service sector and some consumers’ ability to draw down atypically large savings that built up during the pandemic.”
However, while sales tax revenue and corporate income tax increased, Floridians’ savings accounts decreased, according to the EDR report. As stated, “After increasing to a historic peak rate of 33.7% in April 2020 from the 7.9% for the entire 2018-19 fiscal year, just released personal income data indicated that the personal savings rate dropped to a below-normal 7.5% in September 2021.”
Economists for the EDR suggest that the drop in savings account rates is an indicator that the monthly surge in general revenue will slow down but made it clear that they do not think it will reverse course completely.
Even with people’s personal savings accounts causing economists to forecast a slowed pace in general revenue, Governor DeSantis expressed in a press conference on Wednesday that he believes that revenue should continue to exceed expectations in the coming months, given the influx of people that have moved, and are moving, to Florida.
“People are voting with their feet, … They’re leaving failed states, and they’re trying to come to a state that’s going to be well-managed and well-governed,” he said.
In the coming weeks, Governor DeSantis will submit his proposal for the 2022-2023 budget that will most likely take into account the growing population and how it will affect general revenue collections going forward.
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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]