Senate President Bill Galvano told media on Friday that Florida’s August Revenue Collections exceed post-pandemic estimates by $177 million.
“We are already on the path to recovery and what the Governor is doing here today is just going to continue that path and perhaps accelerate it,” Galvano said with Gov. Ron DeSantis at his side.
According to a collection report, Florida generated $2.46 million in August revenue. What’s more, twelve key revenue sources came in above estimates by a combined $210.2 million. Those revenue, among others, include sales tax, corporate income tax, beverage taxes and documentary stamp tax.
Galvano described the extra revenue as “good news” that should inspire “confidence.”
While the change in tide is welcomed news to the Senate President, he acknowledged that Florida remains financially impacted by the pandemic. Tourism, he said, is continuing to show the most significant losses in the sales tax category.
Galvano added that the loss is attributed to more than a decline in out-of-state tourists, but also a reduction of sales to Florida residents at places such as restaurants and local attractions.
In all, five revenue sources in August came in $22.1 million under estimate, though, Galvano described them as of “lesser significance.”
“It is imperative, for the survival of these businesses and the jobs they create, that we continue to work toward the safe return and recovery of the tourism industry, including encouraging the safe enjoyment of these establishments by Floridians,” he wrote in a memorandum.
Earlier in the week Moody’s, Fitch Ratings and S&P Global, two credit rating agencies, determined Florida’s government credit as “AAA” with outlook stable. Galvano cited it as evidence of “Florida’s sound, conservative fact-based fiscal policies” in his memorandum to Senators.
Notably, the Governor on Friday pushed the state into Phase-3 reopening, citing COVID-19 improvements throughout the state. The decision, among other outcomes, will bar local governments from closing businesses and bars. It will also require local governments to justify restaurant capacity restrictions from a health and economic perspective.
Additionally, the Governor urged NFL stadiums to move toward filling their seats as the season progresses.