DiNapoli: August Cash Report Shows Continued Economic Uncertainty
Tax receipts through August 2012 were $147 million below projections and $204.3 million below collections for the same period last year, reflecting continued volatile economic conditions, according to the August Cash Report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
“Almost half way through the state’s fiscal year, the state’s budget is still on relatively solid ground, but weak revenue collections and slow economic growth signal a need for caution going forward,” DiNapoli said. “While the state’s General Fund balance is above projections, primarily because of lower spending, stronger revenue growth in the last seven months of the fiscal year will be needed to meet year-end tax projections.”
All Funds tax collections of $24.7 billion through August were $147 million below revised Financial Plan projections and $118 million below initial projections through August from the Enacted Budget Financial Plan. Collections were 0.8 percent, or $204.3 million lower than last year for the same period. The main factors in the year-over-year decline were the $188.4 million, or 1.2 percent, decline in PIT collections and the $42.8 million, or 0.7 percent fall in consumption and use collections.
The General Fund ended August with a balance of $1.5 billion, or $273.5 million higher than projected in the Financial Plan updated in July.
Other findings from the August Cash Report include:
- General Fund receipts (including transfers from other funds) of $22.3 billion through August 31 were 0.2 percent, or $40.9 million, higher than receipts from the same period last year. General Fund receipts were $27.7 million more than projections in the revised Financial Plan. General Fund tax collections totaled $16.7 billion, reflecting a decrease of $103.5 million, or 0.6 percent from last year for the same period, and $66 million lower than recently revised Financial Plan projections.
- General Fund PIT collections through the first five months totaled $11.2 billion, representing a decline of 1.3 percent, or $149.5 million, from last year. Year-to-date PIT collections were $21.7 million lower than revised Financial Plan projections.
- General Fund Consumption and use tax collections decreased 0.7 percent to $3.6 billion, and were $8 million higher than revised Financial Plan projections. General Fund business tax collections of $1.4 billion were $69.5 million, or 5.1 percent, more than collections through the same period last year, but $54 million below Financial Plan projections.
- All Funds receipts of $49.5 billion were 5 percent, or $2.6 billion, lower than last year. Federal receipts are down by $2.8 billion, or 14.7 percent, so far this year, primarily due to decreased ARRA spending. Tax collections were $204.3 million lower than from the same period last year. These declines were partially offset by miscellaneous receipts, which increased $338.5 million or 4 percent from last year. All Funds receipts were $584 million higher than revised Financial Plan projections, primarily reflecting higher than expected federal receipts (by $537.4 million) and miscellaneous receipts ($193.6 million).
- General Fund spending (including transfers to other funds) through August of $22.5 billion increased 2.2 percent, or $477.3 million, over the same period last year. Local assistance grants declined $153.6 million, or 1.1 percent, to $14.3 billion. Departmental Operations spending declined $253.3 million to $3.4 billion, and General State Charges increased $307.5 million to $1.8 billion compared to the same period last year, primarily due to the timing of reimbursements from other funds. General Fund spending was $246.1 million below Financial Plan projections.
- All Funds spending of $47.4 billion through August 31 decreased 6 percent, or $3 billion, compared to the same period last year, largely reflecting the end of ARRA stimulus funds as well as timing issues.
The state’s finances are generally broken down by two main categories: General Fund and All 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.