In total, and without adjusting for inflation, the new state projections shave $11.9 million off of forecasted deficits in the county's general fund.
The state expects real estate values in the county to increase at least 5% each year from the current period through the 2018 fiscal year. The Dec. 13 estimates show a larger increase each year in that timeframe than Aug. 13 state projections, according to an email message from Sarasota County fiscal consultant Karen Fratangelo to Interim County Administrator Tom Harmer.
The DOR expects the largest period of growth from the 2016 to 2017 fiscal years, with a 5.9% jump in taxable values — that's almost a full percentage point greater than predicted earlier this year.
"Nice to see that the state has become a little more optimistic," wrote Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta in response to the email.
The new projections reduce an expected shortfall in the county's general fund by more than $4 million to $18.6 million in the 2016 fiscal year. The Dec. 13 DOR numbers reduce the expected shortfall for the 2017 fiscal year $3.5 million to $20.1 million, and decrease the following year's expected general fund deficit $4.4 million to $15.7 million.
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