Glimmer of Hope in State’s financial future

Source: Burlington FreePress, January 15, by Nancy Remsen

“MONTPELIER — If the economic advisors to Gov. Peter Shumlin and the Legislature had sung their predictions about the state’s economic and financial future Friday, their best choice would have been a lyric from Vermont native Grace Potter.

“I see a tiny light, like a flashbulb sparkle in the night,” Potter croons in the song “Tiny Light.”

The advisors — Jeffrey Carr, the Shumlin administration economist, and Tom Kavet, the Legislature’s economist — reported weak, but visible evidence that Vermont and the nation are beginning to emerge from the Great Recession.

“I think there is the possibility for the first time in many years that things could be better than we are projecting,” Kavet said.

Based on glimmers of a brighter economic future, the economists recommended small increases in the net General Fund revenues anticipated over the next 18 months. Shumlin and the heads of the Legislature’s four money committees adopted the economists’ recommendations for this fund and for revenues for the Transportation and Education Funds.

For the current budget year, Carr and Kavet said General Fund revenues would come in $27.1 million higher than they predicted in July. General Fund revenues include personal and corporate income taxes, sales tax, meals and rooms, property transfer tax, estate, bank franchise, telephone and insurance taxes…”

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