Tax revenues of $3.9 billion in May were stronger than projected, with collections for the fiscal year now $142.3 million higher than projections from the Enacted Budget, according to the monthly state cash report issued today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The General Fund balance totaled $9.6 billion at the end of May, up more than 31 percent since March 31.
“Personal income tax collections were robust through May and New York’s finances remain solid two months into the new fiscal year,” DiNapoli said. “New York has also collected more than $1.5 billion in settlement dollars that are not yet appropriated. These funds should be used to fix New York’s crumbling infrastructure or for other non-recurring purposes and not to support ongoing expenses.”
May tax receipts were $166 million higher than projections for the month, but were 4.6 percent lower than a year ago, primarily due to corporate franchise tax refunds.
Combined tax receipts for April and May were $1.3 billion higher than the same period last year, an increase of 12 percent. This increase was primarily due to stronger personal income tax (PIT) collections received in April with the filing of annual returns for the 2014 tax year, as was the case in many states.
Other findings from the May cash report include:
- Consumption and use tax collections totaled $2.4 billion through May 31, an increase of 1.7 percent from the previous year and $33.1 million lower than projections. Business tax collections through May totaled $375.4 million, representing a decline of $412.9 million from last year, and $59.6 million lower than projections.
- All Funds receipts totaled $23.9 billion through May, $292.1 million higher than projections. Miscellaneous receipts were $353.4 million above anticipated levels, primarily representing a $485 million monetary settlement received in May that was not included in the Enacted Budget Financial Plan. Federal receipts totaling $6.4 billion were $203.6 million below projections, primarily in special revenue funds.
- All Funds spending of $20 billion through the first two months was $573 million lower than projections from the Enacted Budget. Spending for local assistance programs totaled $14.4 billion and was 2.1 percent, or $296.6 million, higher than last year and $409.5 million less than projections. State operations totaled $3.1 billion through May 31, which was $63.2 million less than planned. Debt service totaled $420.5 million and was $30.5 million higher than last year, but $8.5 million below projections.
- The General Fund ended May with a balance of nearly $9.6 billion, which was over $1 billion higher than projections, and more than $5 billion higher than last year at the same time.
DiNapoli's office issues a state cash report every month identifying actual state revenues and spending from the prior month. The cash report focuses primarily on the General Fund and All Governmental Funds. The General Fund is the major operating fund of the state. All Governmental Funds includes General, Special Revenue, Debt Service and Capital Projects funds, as well as funds from the federal government. The report is now accessible in Excel and Adobe formats.
Since becoming Comptroller, DiNapoli has created several tools to allow the public to better track government spending, contracts and other fiscal issues. These are easily accessible on his transparency website called Open Book New York (www.openbooknewyork.com).