State revenue collections exceed August estimate by $177.5 million

by | Sep 25, 2020

The Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) released the General Revenue Collection Report on Friday showing that collections exceeded new estimates for the month of August

In the memorandum, Senate President Bill Galvano highlights the good news for the month of August, saying that last month’s collections exceeded estimates that were recently adopted in August by $177.5 million. This number includes sales tax collections, which turned positive, posting a gain of $153.8 million.

Furthermore, collections for twelve revenue sources, including the most significant sources — sales tax, corporate income tax, beverage taxes and documentary stamp tax — came in over estimate by a combined $210.2 million.

Meanwhile, five revenue sources of lesser significance came in $22.1 million under estimate.

While overall collections for August moved further into positive territory, they would have been down by $83.1 million against the estimate adopted prior to the pandemic. Comparing August of 2020 to August of 2019, the state saw overall collections drop by 4.6 percent.

The most significant loss over August 2019 is attributed to declines in the tourism and hospitality-related industries, dropping receipts 41.0 percent below collections for the Tourism category in August 2019.

“Even though a significant part of the loss arises from a reduction in the number of out-of-state tourists, this category also includes sales to Florida residents at restaurants, local attractions and other leisure-based activities which have likewise been negatively affected by the pandemic,” the August report says regarding the hospitality industry.

The new estimates, which were used in the Long Range Financial Outlook adopted by the Legislative Budget Commission earlier this month, thus far, are more conservative than actual collections.

The August estimates, unlike the prior forecast from January, take into consideration the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the state’s economy. The attached report still provides a comparison to the January estimates, before the pandemic, to provide a better understanding of how the revenue picture has changed.

Galvano says that moving forward decisions will be based on the August forecast.


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