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Florida gets boost in tax revenues in December

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida in December recorded its best monthly general-revenue collections since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research estimated revenue for December at $336.7 million over a forecast revised in August.

What’s more, the $2.999.4 billion in overall revenue was $154.4 million higher than what had been forecast before the pandemic hit.

“The December results were above the pre-pandemic estimates for the month by the largest margin seen since the pandemic began,” the revenue report released Tuesday said.

Sales tax numbers were up $178.3 million over the revised August forecast.

However, revenue from tourism and hospitality-related industries continue to lag, down 25.5% from December 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 report said.

The latest estimates could provide a boost to Gov. Ron DeSantis and state lawmakers as they face an estimated $2.75 billion shortfall in preparing to put together a budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which starts July 1.