Crist wary of new revenue numbers
As revenue forecasters finalize what's expected to be another grim assessment on April tax collections, Gov. Charlie Crist said Monday "it's clearly possible" he may have to tap an emergency budget fund this year rather than next. "I'd rather we don't have to. If we do, we will," Crist told reporters.
The most recent monthly revenue report for March showed general revenue tax collections were $54-million below estimates and most of that, $46.9-million, was a dropoff in sales tax collections.
The Legislature agreed to give Crist the leeway to tap the Budget Stabilization Fund (BSF) and a second fund, the Lawton Chiles endowment, under certain conditions and only with the approval of a panel of lawmakers, the Legislative Budget Commission. The state must be facing a budget deficit, which is prohibited by the state Constitution, and any withdrawals from the two funds must be repaid.