Tax collections totaling $19.8 billion fell short of projections for New York state in the first quarter of the state’s fiscal year (SFY), a decline of $797.6 million, or 3.9 percent, from the same period last year and $454.1 million below projections, according to the June state cash report issued today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
“Personal income tax collections are off to a slower than expected start. The first quarter of the state’s fiscal year ended on a cautionary note,” DiNapoli said. “While it’s early in the year and tax collections may improve going forward, the state should be prepared to take action if revenue remains below estimates.”
Total receipts from all funds, including miscellaneous and federal receipts, declined $783.7 million from a year earlier, primarily due to the absence of settlement revenues and lower estimated payments under the personal income tax. Total receipts of $38.4 billion were $831.1 million below projections for the period, primarily because personal income tax totaling $13.3 billion was $598.7 million below projections and federal receipts totaling $12.7 billion were $307.4 million lower than anticipated.
Through the first quarter, the state has transferred $238.6 million from the General Fund to the Dedicated Infrastructure Investment Fund from monetary settlement resources received over the last two years. $164 million of the $238.6 million was paid to the Thruway Authority for various costs.
The state spent just under $38 billion through the first three months, $4.2 billion or 12.5 percent higher than last year for the same period, primarily because of a $1.8 billion pension payment made in April that was paid later during SFY 2015-16. Other significant increases include spending for public health programs (up $767.2 million largely because of payments for the Essential Plan Program) and Medicaid (up $960.6 million primarily from federal sources). Overall spending was nearly $70.4 million over projections in the Enacted Budget Financial Plan.
The General Fund ended June with a balance of $7.2 billion, which was $975.8 million lower than the latest projection and $3.9 billion lower than a year earlier. This variance was due to both lower than anticipated receipts and higher than anticipated spending in the General Fund that could be due to the timing of payments.
To access the monthly cash report for additional detail, go to http://www.osc.state.ny.us/finance/cbr.htm.
DiNapoli's office issues a state cash report every month identifying 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 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).