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Tuesday, July 7, 2009 - 10:42am

Economist: Effect of Stimulus Dollars Months Off

Federal stimulus dollars are starting to roll into Georgia. But it could be a while until the money helps the state’s economy. Funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are ramping up state projects like making buildings more energy efficient to building roads.

They’re creating jobs and that means more tax dollars. But it could be months until we see its effect on revenues.

"Part of it is the lag when the cash comes in and it shows up in paychecks and spending," said professor of Economics at Mercer University Roger Tutterow, "and then of course there’s a lag between when that occurs and the state actually gets their cuts and reflects it in their tax revenue collections."

Case in point: the Department of Transportation. It got $62 million in May, and the first of 41 projects just started last week - workers began repaving a road south of Atlanta. The project allowed a state contractor to keep 25 employees and create three new jobs. DOT officials do expect the remaining 40 projects to begin this month.

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