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A Budget Preview? State Tax Collections Lagging Projections

Posted By Joseph Spector On January 18, 2013 @ 2:43 pm In Other | Comments Disabled

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will introduce his 2013-14 budget proposal on Tuesday as state tax collections continue to lag projections for the current year, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said today.

[1]State tax collections through December were off $48.3 million from the state’s most recent estimates and $685.3 million below initial estimates in April, DiNapoli said. Tax collections through December totaled $46.4 billion.

What’s troublesome, DiNapoli said, is that the state’s projected tax growth was up just 1.2 percent—and that includes higher income taxes on the wealthy implemented in December 2011. Tax growth was estimated to grow 2.9 percent.

So in order for the state to meet its current year-end projections, it would essentially take a miracle: Collections would have to increase 7.1 percent in the last three months of the fiscal year, which ends March 31.

And, DiNapoli said, the projections do not include any shortfalls from Superstorm Sandy, which crippled the downstate economy on Oct. 29.

DiNapoli said the state also quietly delayed a $2.5 billion School Tax Relief (STAR) payment to schools this month to help balance the books.

“Tax collections are still not growing at the rate needed to meet year-end projections, and the boost in personal income taxes in December likely won’t continue,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “So far the budget has been balanced by spending less and taking advantage of one-time windfalls. With the budget process about to begin again, revenue projections should be realistic so that the budget is not balanced with revenues that won’t be there.”

Cuomo has stuck with a budget gap of $1 billion for the upcoming fiscal year, and he hasn’t changed that projection, despite Superstorm Sandy.


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