Treasurer: Pensions, benefits shortfall major concerns

TRENTON – Echoing Republican sentiments to be conservative of the revenue windfall, Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff said Wednesday that because of a $110 billion shortfall on pensions and benefits: “Until we have addressed that I don’t feel that we’re out of the woods.”

“It’s going to take a long time for our tax rates to recover,” he said, if there is going to be a return to the high-water marks of 2007 and 2008. Right now, he said, the state is still several billions of dollars under that level.

Although much has been made of the gap in revenue projections between the Office of Legislative Services and Department of Treasury, Sidamon-Eristoff said before a Senate Budget Committee hearing that it was “quite small” in relation to the overall revenue picture.

The $383 million difference in projections is equal to less than 1 percent of the state’s gross income tax revenues over the course of this and next fiscal year.

“It’s real money,” he said, “but in the context of our overall budget…still is relatively modest.”

Treasurer: Pensions, benefits shortfall major concerns