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Tax Collections Soar

Tax Collections Beat Forecast in January

Recovery efforts from Hurricane Ian helped Florida tax collections as 2023 got underway.

But state economists continue to express concerns about inflation and Floridians people spending personal savings.

The Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research issued a report Wednesday that said general-revenue collections in January were 21.8 percent above a forecast for the month.

The report said collections totaled $4.178 billion in January, about $748.4 million over a projection issued in August.

Sales taxes, driven in part by higher prices, were credited for 89 percent of the gain.

But a cautionary sign in the report was a decline in documentary-stamp taxes, which are collected on real estate transactions.

Those taxes were off 11 percent amid “higher than expected mortgage rates and weaker than expected housing market prices.”

Meanwhile, the report said 54.6 percent of the overage for the month reflects “the continued reliance on savings to support personal consumption and first-round inflationary effects.”

The personal saving rate was 4.7 percent in January, an improvement from 4.5 percent in December.

The rate is below the 7.9 percent rate during the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the last full year before the COVID-19 pandemic caused economic upheaval.

The saving rate jumped to 33.7 percent in April 2020, as people cut back on spending during the early months of the pandemic and started receiving federal stimulus checks.

General revenue is closely watched, as it plays a key role in funding schools, health programs, and prisons.