Bracing for more bad revenue news
Like meteorologists anticipating a bad storm, a team of revenue forecasters met Tuesday to revise the official estimate of tax revenue available for the three-and-a-half months left in this fiscal year and beyond.
The 20-member group, officially known as the General Revenue Estimating Conference, is expected to reduce the revenue estimate by about $1-billion for the rest of this year and by as much as $2.2-billion next year, after having already lowered the official estimate three times in the past year. Next year's number will become a critical component as state legislators begin crafting next year's budget. The numbers are even bleaker in the so-called out years of 2010 and 2011 as Florida continues to be buffeted by a weak real estate market, a surge in mortgage foreclosures, high energy costs and population slowdown.