December 30, 2009
DiNapoli Releases State Cash Watch Numbers
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today said the state’s General Fund might end the month of December with a deficit for the first time ever, unless there is a major influx in tax receipts in the last few days of the month. The Cash Watch update is part of DiNapoli’s on-going effort to increase fiscal transparency for the state’s taxpayers.
“New York State’s cash-flow is at historically low levels,” DiNapoli said. “The state’s General Fund may end December with a deficit, which has never happened before. Right now the state is operating on a very thin margin.”
The state paid STAR aid payments totaling $1.8 billion today. The state is required to make these payments by January 4. As ordered by the Governor, the state Division of the Budget (DOB) issued a certificate of approval to the Comptroller’s office ordering a 19 percent reduction in STAR aid payments.
Other significant payments made today include general support for public schools of $384.5 million, which was paid at 100 percent. The state also made Medicaid payments of $1.3 billion and paid out Personal Income Tax Refunds of $224.5 million.
The General Fund, which is a component of State’s Short Term Investment Pool (STIP) or cash-on-hand, had an opening balance today of a negative $174 million, with nearly a billion of payments yet to be made. There are two more days of tax receipts to count, which may or may not be sufficient to cover these payments. If they are not, the General Fund would borrow from other funds in STIP to meet these obligations and would close the month in deficit for the first time. The State Comptroller’s office processes approximately 130,000 state payments daily. In State Fiscal Year 2008-09, it processed more than 34 million payments totaling approximately $103 billion.