Tax collections for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2020-21 totaled $82.4 billion — $3 billion higher than forecast by the state Division of the Budget (DOB) in the Amended Executive Budget Financial Plan in February (latest projections), and $6.8 billion higher than forecast in May 2020 (initial projections), according to the March State Cash Report released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Total tax collections for SFY 2020-21 were $513.3 million lower than the previous year.
“The state’s year-end financial position was significantly better than anticipated,” DiNapoli said. “We face a long road to recovery, and the state’s economy still faces serious challenges, both in the short-term and long-term. Better-than-anticipated tax collections, federal resources and new revenues in the recently adopted budget allow for important investments in critical programs and services, but state policymakers must ensure that spending commitments are in line with recurring revenue sources.”
Personal income tax (PIT) collections totaled $55 billion, exceeding prior year collections by $1.3 billion or 2.4 percent. PIT collections exceeded the latest projections by $1.9 billion and initial projections by $5.9 billion, even with $437 million more in refunds being paid in the last quarter than previously anticipated.
Consumption and use taxes, which include sales tax receipts, totaled $16.1 billion, falling short of prior year totals by $1.9 billion or 10.6 percent. Collections were $116.4 million higher than the latest projections and $643.4 higher than initial projections.
Business tax collections totaled $8.8 billion, which was $203.4 million lower than the previous year. Collections exceeded the latest projections by $614.4 million and were below initial projections by $164.6 million.
State Operating Funds spending totaled $104.2 billion, which was $2 billion, or 2 percent, higher than last year. The General Fund ended the fiscal year with a balance of $9.161 billion, an increase of $216.6 million from opening balance. DOB took the following actions at the end of the year:
- $3.1 billion was paid in debt service prepayments and debt defeasance, which was $1.5 billion higher than the most recent forecast;
- $918 million in payments were made to eliminate all remaining pension amortization costs;
- $692.8 million from the General Fund was used to support education aid to offset lower than anticipated receipts from Video Lottery Terminals, $448.8 million higher than the most recent forecast;
- $513 million in previously collected monetary settlements from financial and other institutions was transferred from the General Fund to the Dedicated Infrastructure Investment Fund, $617 million lower than the most recent forecast; and
- $3.4 billion in debt service on short-term notes issued earlier in the year was paid as planned.
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