State revenue picture worsens
Florida's revenue picture continues to worsen. Preliminary figures show January's tax collections will be at least $138-million below previous estimates, to put the cumulative shortfall for November, December and January at about $230-million.
The state bureau of Economic and Demographic Research will formally announce the January revenue number in about a week, and it likely will be lower than forecast. Because tax revenue numbers are reported in the month following actual collections, the low January number reflects the 2007 holiday shopping season. A quirk in the tax picture is that gift card sales were up in 2007, but the sales tax from those cards isn't counted until the cards themselves are redeemed.
Bottom line: the Legislature's job of cutting the state budget just got a little bit tougher.