TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – State economists are preparing new budget forecasts for how much money the state should collect in taxes over the next few years.

The budget estimates will be used by state legislators for new state budgets they will pass between now and early May. The total amount of money will play a large role in whether legislators will agree to spend money on Governor Rick Scott’s priorities, including a teacher pay raise.

The last budget estimate in December predicted the state’s tax collections will grow by roughly 5 percent over the next two years.

The state’s largest source of money is the 6-percent sales tax.

A big question for economists is whether the battle over automatic spending cuts in Washington D.C. is harming the state’s economy. Republicans have vowed to keep the cuts in place in perpetuity and have said no revenue increases or closing of tax loopholes will be allowed to offset the cuts.

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