TALLAHASSEE — As federal stimulus checks gave Floridians more money to spend, state revenue in April exceeded economists’ forecast by nearly 24%.
The Legislative Assembly’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research said on Friday that April’s general revenue was $ 797.2 million more than a projection for the month. This gave Florida its ninth consecutive month exceeding income expectations as the state recovers from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A report released by the office noted that April’s total revenue is “by far the biggest surpass since the start of the pandemic in calendar year 2020.”
When he signed a record $ 100 billion budget on Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said forecast revenue through June — the last month of the current fiscal year — should push fiscal reserves from $ 9.5 billion to over $ 10 billion.
“If you go back to last April (2020), the shortcomings that everyone was predicting, look, we were obviously concerned about that,” DeSantis said during an appearance at a New Smyrna Beach restaurant. “But as summer approached, you know, we were open. I mean, I remember everyone, you know, a lot of people were trying to tell me to close restaurants like this last summer. We did not do it. We kept business open. We have children at school. We did all of these things. And the result was that our economy really started to rebound. “
In its new report, the Office of Economic & Demographic Research attributed the tax collections to activity that mainly occurred in March, which, according to the report, “continued to benefit from the latest round of checks. stimulus for households, reoriented the spending of the hard hit. service sector and the ability of some consumers to derive unusually large savings that have accumulated during the pandemic. “
The state had expected to collect net general revenue of about $ 3.395 billion in April, but brought in $ 4.192 billion, The report shows.
The April figures — the forecast was set by the State Revenue Estimates Conference on April 5 — came after revenue exceeded the forecast for March by $ 299.6 million , February of $ 298.5 million, January of $ 246.7 million and December of $ 336.7 million.
Sales taxes make up the largest portion of general government revenue, which is used to fund programs such as schools, health care, and prisons.
For April, the state collected $ 2.799.3 billion in sales taxes, $ 447.6 million more than estimated. Numbers exceeded expectations in six categories watched by economists, including tourism, which has fallen behind throughout the pandemic.
Tourism taxes collected in April were 12.1% higher than forecast. Meanwhile, tax collections on non-durable consumer items increased 16.8% from forecast, while collections on automobiles increased 33.8%.
Collections were also higher than expected in most other types of taxes that enter general revenue. Examples were corporate income taxes (48.9%); documentary stamp duties (44.1%); intangible taxes (51.4 percent) and beverage taxes (90 percent), according to the report.