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Florida Revenue Seen Growing 5.2% Next Year as Sales Taxes Rise

March 13 (Bloomberg) -- Lawmakers in Florida will have a surplus of about $1.2 billion this year as they craft the state budget, according to a revenue estimate by state economists.

Driven by a growth in the sales tax, Florida revenue collections will grow 5.2 percent to $28 billion in the fiscal year beginning July 1, state economists led by Amy Baker said in the forecast released yesterday. It will reach $33 billion by 2019, according to the forecast.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, said he will use part of the surplus to cut $500 million in taxes and fees as part of his $74 billion budget proposal. Lawmakers must pass a budget by May 2, using the state’s $28 billion in general revenue along with federal funds and other collections.

Florida municipal bonds have gained 3 percent this year, compared with 3.3 percent for the broader market, according to data compiled by Standard & Poor’s.

To contact the reporter on this story: Toluse Olorunnipa in Tallahassee, Florida at tolorunnipa@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net Justin Blum, Mark Schoifet

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