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Recovering state economy won’t heal all needs

Special to SEGAZINE

Last week, Gov. Nathan Deal published revenue figures for April of about $1.68 billion. That’s about $50 million short of what Georgia collected in April 2013.

As the economy picks up, Georgia is receiving the state government version of a raise, but plenty of minds — from educators to savers to road pavers — already have designs on the new cash flowing in.

Georgia’s tax take is a wiggly line that has taking bumps and dings on its way upward since the end of the recession. Last week, Gov. Nathan Deal published revenue figures for April of about $1.68 billion. That’s about $50 million short of what Georgia collected in April 2013.

Still, Georgia’s tax take for the first 10 months of the fiscal year is up by 4.7 percent since the same time last year. The fiscal year ends in June.

Recession is not quite an in-or-out thing. It’s one of the steps in an economic cycle that also includes recovery and expansion, said Kenneth Heaghney, the state fiscal economist.

Georgia is in recovery or expansion “depending on your variable,” he said. Looking at employment, Georgia is recovering. Looking at people’s income, Georgia is expanding.

As the state’s official forecaster, he told the Legislature in January that the state’s economic scenario for the next 18 months was very positive. Then as now, he also cautioned that some things are not measurable or predictable, such as federal policy.

Macon.com.

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