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State Revenue Up in August

October 1st, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

The Cash for Clunkers Program and an eight thousand dollar tax credit for first time home buyers pushed state revenues more than 40 million dollars above estimates in August. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, there are also some other positive revenue signs.

The state saw more money than expected from alcohol, cigarettes, home and car sales and even the sale of building supplies. The almost 41million dollar surplus has economists cautiously optimistic.

12 million of the cash came from real estate sales. Realtors credit an 8 thousand dollar first time buyer tax credit.

“Year over year, we’re up 28 percent and home sales have been increasing 12 months in a row,” John Sebree with the Florida Association of Realtors said.

The tax credit expires in November.

Realtors are lobbying congress hard, trying to get an extension of the 8 thousand dollar tax credit in hopes of keeping the momentum going.

There is also good news on this car lot.

Thursday morning we found three sets of buyers looking around.

“Definitely the economy is taking a turn for the better,” shopper Laurie Rhowe said. “You know, we have a ways to go though.”

“It can’t get any worse,” Laurie’s mother, Glady’s Rhowe said. “It cannot get any worse. It’s got to get better.”

Owner Bob Hudson says Cash for Clunkers wasn’t the only thing that drove state tax collections on car sales 15 million above estimates.

“September was OK for us,” Hudson said. “We came off, as you know, a banner August with Cash for Clunkers, which did very well for us. But we actually had a positive September, so we’re looking forward to an even better last quarter of this year.”

Not every tax category was up. Fees from new corporations were down. But overall, the news is positive.

Besides autos, tax collections were above estimates on other durable and non durable goods, indicating consumer confidence. Sales tax from tourism related activities was also over estimates by 5 point 3 million.

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