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State tax receipts below projections three quarters through fiscal year

ALBANY - State tax receipts for the first three quarters of the fiscal year were $534 million below the latest Financial Plan projections, according to a quarterly report on state finances released today by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

“The state started the fiscal year strong but it is not clear if we will end the year that way, given that some state revenue streams are slowing down,” DiNapoli said. “Business taxes are lagging behind projections and growth in personal income tax withholding is slowing down. Still, sales tax collections continue to be strong and other tax receipts may exceed projections. It is critical that we closely monitor revenue trends in the last quarter of the fiscal year. While the last three budgets have narrowed the state’s structural imbalance, there is still much to do to ensure the state’s fiscal health.”

Major findings in the quarterly report include:

  • All Funds tax collections of $49 billion through Dec. 31 were $2.6 billion higher than last year, but $534 million below midyear projections. Personal Income Tax (PIT), the state’s largest in-state revenue source, totaled $29.8 billion, 7.4 percent higher than last year for the same period, although almost all of this growth occurred in April;
  • Overall PIT collections through the first three quarters were $225 million lower than the latest projections. However, certain categories within PIT may end the year above planned levels. Consumption and use tax collections totaled $11.5 billion through Dec. 31, an increase of 4.5 percent and $12 million over current projections. Business tax collections through December were down 4.5 percent and $465 million below projections.  
  • All Funds spending of $96.2 billion through December was $938 million below current projections. The variance is primarily due to lower than anticipated spending for local assistance programs ($858 million lower than projected). All Funds spending for state operations totaled $14.7 billion through December, which was $141 million lower than planned. General state charges increased $1.2 billion, which was $45 million higher than projections. Total spending was $5 billion, or 5.5 percent, higher than the same period in SFY 2012-13; and
  • All Funds receipts totaled $99.5 billion through the first three quarters, $606 million below updated projections. The majority of the variance was in taxes ($534 million) and federal receipts ($113 million), offset by higher than anticipated miscellaneous receipts ($41 million higher than projected).