A new monthly report released by the New York State Comptroller indicates that the tax collection weakness in Empire State continues. For the April-July quarter total tax revenue was $11.5 billion, $52 million below projection, and, more significantly, $3.6 billion below amount collected in the prior year period. For the Year To Date period, receipts, including transfers from other funds, through July 2009 of $15.7 billion were $190.9 million below Financial Plan projections released by DOB on July 30 and $4.8 billion lower than last year for the same period.
General Fund Personal Income Tax collections of $7.3 billion were $3.3 billion below last year through July, primarily due to collections in April 2009, and $25.4 million below projections for the first four months. Year-to-date business tax collections of $1.3 billion were $181 million higher than collections for the same period last year, primarily due to higher than expected collections in June 2009 and $7.1 million below projections for the first four months.
“Although there were some small signs that the national economy is slowly turning around, economists project it will take longer for New York State to recover,” DiNapoli said. “The fact remains that state revenues continue to fall below financial estimates that were updated just two weeks. New York has a very real and growing current year deficit. The Governor and Legislature need to make some difficult choices that weren’t made in the Enacted State Budget. The state cannot afford to postpone these decisions. We must readjust our priorities to meet the economic crisis.”
On the spending side, things are also getting serious: while overall spend was $16.7 billion $2.4 billion, below the prior year period, the decline in spending was mostly due to costs for General State Charges (down $829.8 million primarily due to the timing of payments) and Medicaid (down $1.7 billion – reflecting federal stimulus Medicaid payments made from other funds).
In other words, the $1 billion deficit to date is in reality almost $2 billion if all expenses were recognized as incurred, and almost $4 billion if one excludes the Medicaid piggybank.
Also, if New Yorkers complain about the educational system, they should note that education spending increased by 649 million compared to the last year.