Florida economists predict modest growth in tax collections

TALLLAHASSEE — State economists are looking at modest growth in tax collections in the coming year.

Preliminary estimates unveiled on Thursday show economists expect state taxes to grow in the next 18 months, but not enough to make a large dent in the state's nearly $2 billion budget shortfall.

Economists will meet all day to come up with a final figure. State lawmakers use the estimates to draw up a new budget but Senate President Mike Haridopolos has suggested that legislators may want to wait until later in the year before working on the budget. The state's fiscal year starts on July 1.

The preliminary figures show a range of possible scenarios from the state receiving about $70 million less in taxes over the next 18 months to growing nearly $200 million.

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