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June 17, 2009

DiNapoli: State Tax Revenues Continue to Fall

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today reported state tax revenues continue to fall below projections. General Fund revenues of $6.9 billion, including transfers, were $347.9 million below the Division of the Budget’s Financial Plan projections released in April and $3.9 billion, or 36 percent, less than last year.

“The economy continues to be shaky, and state revenues continue to be below prior year levels,” DiNapoli said. “The Division of the Budget projected that the first quarter of the fiscal year would be tight, so this is not a surprise. The General Fund is at historically low levels. The state needs to watch revenues and spending closely. At the end of the first quarter, we’ll have a better handle on whether or not the state needs to make adjustments to the budget.”

June 30 is the end of the state fiscal year’s first quarter and is also a big collection month for personal income and business tax payments.

DiNapoli’s May Monthly Cash Report released today found the General Fund closing balance for May was $97.3 million below projections. General Fund receipts totaling $6.9 billion were $347.9 million below projections and disbursements of $8.8 billion were $250.1 million below projections. Personal income taxes of $3.6 billion were $2.9 billion, or 44.1 percent, below May 2008 receipts.

Other findings in the report:

  • General Fund spending (including transfers) of approximately $8.8 billion was down $1.2 billion compared to last year. The decline in spending was mostly due to costs for General State Charges (down $1.1 billion primarily due to the timing of payments) and Medicaid (down $785.3 million – because of federal stimulus Medicaid payments). These declines were offset by increases in education spending (up $692 million). In total, General Fund spending was $250.1 million below projections.
  • General Fund receipts (including transfers) of $6.9 billion were $3.9 billion lower than last year at this time, primarily due to lower personal income tax collections (down $2.9 billion compared to last year and $376.2 million below this year’s projections). General Fund receipts ended $347.9 million below projections through May 31.
  • All Funds receipts through May 2009 of $16.7 billion were $503.1 million below projections and $2.9 billion lower than May 2008, because of lower personal income tax collections. Federal receipts increased $648.9 million compared to last year through May (11.4 percent) and were $140 million more than projections.
  • All Governmental Funds spending through May 31, 2009 of $18.4 billion was $1.2 billion, or 6.9 percent, more than last year through May 31, 2008, primarily due to increases in education ($1 billion or 30.2 percent), and debt service ($220.8 million or 41.9 percent). In addition, Medicaid costs increased $636.1 million, or 11.3 percent, largely due to increased caseloads associated with the economy. All Funds spending was $243.5 million below projections.

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 Plan.

Click here for a copy of the report.

Click here for a copy of last month's report.



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