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June 17, 2010



DiNapoli: Cash Flow Issues Persist

The state closed May with a positive General Fund balance only because of delayed payments and revenues came in slightly stronger than last year, according to the May Cash Report released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today. But the state’s cash position remains precarious

DiNapoli noted that the General Fund has run a negative balance every day in June, and billions of dollars in payments are scheduled this month. Making those payments may depend on whether the state brings in enough revenue in the second half of June.

“New Yorkers know that you need a budget, especially when money is tight,” DiNapoli said. “The state is limping along week-to-week without a budget, hoping there will be enough money to pay the bills. We’re on a long trip with no map, no directions and no GPS. This is no way to responsibly operate a state already mired in a fiscal crisis. We need a budget.”

DiNapoli warned that without an enacted budget and financial plan, the state is forced to push spending cuts and other efficiencies into a much shorter time frame. The Executive’s proposed budget anticipated savings and revenue for time periods that have already passed.

The DiNapoli report found:

REVENUES

  • Through May 31, General Fund receipts, including transfers from other funds, were $7 billion, $126.2 million or 1.8 percent above the same period last year.
  • Total General Fund tax collections through May 31 totaled $5.3 billion, up $348.1 million, or 7 percent, from last year.
  • Year-to-date General Fund Personal Income Tax collections were $3.9 billion, $241.5 million or 6.7 percent above last year. Withholding collections, the state’s second largest revenue source, increased 12.3 percent from the same period last year. Personal Income Tax receipts included $500 million in additional refunds that were delayed from the SFY 2009-10 fiscal year, thus artificially reducing growth.
  • Year-to-date General Fund consumption tax collections, including sales taxes, were $1.3 billion, $59.8 million above collections from the same period last year. Sales tax collections were $1.1 billion, $60.0 million, or 5.5 percent, higher than last year.
  • Year-to-date General Fund business tax collections were $62.1 million, $17.1 million higher than collections for the same period last year. Miscellaneous receipts were $188.8 million, $102.3 million below collections from last year.
  • All Governmental Funds receipts through May 31 were $18 billion, $1.3 billion or 7.6 percent higher than last year for the same period, primarily due to federal receipts and tax collections. However, collections for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s payroll tax and Taxicab medallion user tax totaled $275.8 million through the first two months of the fiscal year, which were not collected last year. If these collections are removed, growth of all other receipts totaled $993.9 million (5.9 percent).
  • Total tax collections were $8 billion, up $753.4 million, or 10.4 percent, from last year, reflecting not only growth, but also new collections from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s payroll tax and Taxicab medallion user tax. Federal receipts increased by $798.6 million from last year. Miscellaneous receipts through May 31 were $2.9 billion, $282.3 million lower than collections for the same period last year, primarily reflecting the timing of collections and non-recurring resources collected last year that have not occurred this year.

SPENDIING

  • General Fund spending, including transfers to other funds, was $7.7 billion, $1.1 billion, or 12.8 percent, less than last year through May 31. The decline in spending was mostly due to costs for education (down $348.3 million primarily due to delayed payments), General State Charges (down $238.6 million), and health and environment (down $168.7 billion). These declines were offset by increases in Medicaid spending (up $402.8 million primarily because of an additional cycle payment made April 1 that was delayed from the previous fiscal year).
  • All Governmental Funds spending through May 31 was $17.5 billion, $972.8 million, or 5.3 percent, less than last year for the same period, primarily due to declines in general state charges ($560 million) and personal service spending ($248.9 million). These increases were offset by higher spending for Medicaid ($623.1 billion).

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.

The monthly cash report does not make comparisons to the latest available financial plan that was released in February. Making such comparisons would be misleading because they would not take into account the Executive’s actions to cash manage state funds while budget enactment is delayed or any other necessary financial plan revisions.

Click here for a copy of the report or visit http://www.osc.state.ny.us/finance/finreports/cash/monthly/may10.pdf.

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