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January 15, 2010

DiNapoli: State Made it Through December;
Cash Crunch Still Likely in March

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released the results of the December Cash Report noting the state still faces an uphill battle in the last three months of the fiscal year. More than $10 billion in General Fund payments are due in March, with less than $7 billion expected in General Fund revenues, creating another cash shortfall.

DiNapoli said his office made payments to school districts and local governments today to restore funds withheld by Governor Paterson in December.

“December was not a good month for New York,” DiNapoli said. “The state ended the month with a negative General Fund balance for the first time in anyone’s memory. December revenue collections continue to reflect a very volatile financial environment, and the state still faces a possible deficit at the close of this fiscal year. And what happened in December could be just a flurry compared to the possible blizzard heading our way next fiscal year. These problems don’t self-correct. New York needs serious budget repairs.”

DiNapoli’s December Cash Report found total General Fund tax revenue through December was $24.9 billion, $88.7 million more than Financial Plan projections that were updated on Oct. 30 but $2.6 billion less than the same period last year, primarily due to lower Personal Income Tax collections. This reflects the first month this fiscal year that General Fund tax receipts have not been below projections.

The General Fund ended December with a negative balance of $204.6 million after final accounting adjustments were made. The negative balance includes delayed payments of $750 million in local assistance payments ordered by the Governor.

The DiNapoli report also found:

  • Through Dec. 31, General Fund receipts, including transfers from other funds, were $35.2 billion, $415.8 million above Financial Plan projections and $3 billion lower than last year for the same period.
  • Total General Fund tax collections through Dec. 30 were $24.9 billion, down $2.6 billion, or 9.6 percent, from last year but $88.7 million above projections through December, signifying for the first time in the current fiscal year General Fund tax collections exceeded year to date projections.
  • Year-to-date General Fund Personal Income Tax collections were $14.5 billion, $136.9 million above projections updated in October. For the second month in a row, withholding collections, which make up the second largest revenue source in the state budget, grew from the same month last year.
  • Year-to-date General Fund consumption tax collections were $6.2 billion, $290.8 million below collections from the same period last year and $13.9 million below projections. Within this tax category, sales tax collections within the General Fund in December were $41.3 million or 5.8 percent higher than last year.
  • Year-to-date General Fund business tax collections were $3.5 billion, $310.7 million lower than collections for the same period last year, and $20.6 million below projections through Dec. 31.
  • General Fund spending, including transfers to other funds, was $37.3 billion, $1.9 billion, or 4.8 percent, less than last year through Dec. 31. The decline in spending included $750 million in delayed payments made up of $579 million in school aid and STAR and $45 million in Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM).
  • All Governmental Funds receipts through Dec. 31 of $90.3 billion were $230.9 million below projections and $5.2 billion higher than last year for the same period, primarily due to federal receipts. All Governmental Funds spending through Dec. 31 was $92.6 billion, $4.4 billion, or 4.9 percent, more than last year for the same period.

The state’s finances are generally broken down by two main categories: General Fund and All Governmental Funds. The General Fund is the major operating fund of the state and accounts for all receipts that are not required by law to be deposited into another fund. All Governmental Funds includes general, special revenue, debt service and capital projects funds, as well as funds from the federal government. DiNapoli’s monthly cash report compares state finances against the same time period last year and the state’s current year Financial Plans.

Click here for a copy of the December 2009 Cash Report.

Click here for school aid and STAR payments made on January 15.

Click here for AIM payments made on January 15.


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