Gov. Rick Scott says don’t worry, you’ll still get tax cuts.
On Tuesday, his office responded to reports that state economists predicted almost $400 million less for next year’s state budget.
Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz called the projected $388.5 million drop “a minor reduction” and said the GOP governor “remains confident in his $1 billion tax cut package.”
“Recent estimates also show that if the Legislature chooses to adopt the Seminole Compact the Governor signed, it would bring in $2.3 billion over eight years,” she said in a prepared statement, referring to the proposed blackjack deal that faces an uncertain reception this session.
“Additionally, most actual revenues end up higher than revenue estimates,” Schutz said.
Dominic M. Calabro, president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, an independent state budget watchdog, issued a separate statement about “how ripples in the global economy can quickly affect our state and communities.”
“Our state’s economy remains strong with growth in almost every sector but it is critically important that we protect taxpayers’ money with a vigilant focus on government efficiency,” he said.
House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, a Merritt Island Republican, also weighed in.
“The revenue estimating conference results remind us that we continue to be in recovery, but we are certainly still bouncing back from the unprecedented recession,” he said in an email. “Fortunately, we have instituted conservative budgeting principles year after year. We will be able to make adjustments to our spending plan which will come out in the next few weeks.”
The Associated Press reported earlier Tuesday that the preliminary forecasts show the state’s main budget account will only grow slightly more than 2 percent during the fiscal year that ends in June.
Those forecasts estimate growth of around 4 percent in the 2016-17 fiscal year. If the forecasts hold, legislators could have about $400 million less to spend. Back in September economists predicted an overall budget surplus of $635 million.