TRENTON – The debate continues regarding who is projecting revenues better for the upcoming fiscal year.
The Office of Legislative Services said today that it found it “difficult to reconcile” that the Treasury Department’s reported revenue collections in July were lower than expected, even though they collected a great deal more money compared to last year.
In an internal memo, OLS chief David Rosen said, “it is premature to make any statement about fiscal year 2012 revenue trends.”
The memo was sent to Senate and Assembly budget committees and obtained by State Street Wire.
Last week Republicans, particularly Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, (R-21), of Westfield, said the July revenue figures, which were $34.9 million lower than originally forecast, were evidence that the OLS revenue projections Democrats used to craft their own budget in June were overly optimistic.
“Had their revenue estimates been allowed to stand in this year’s budget, we would be in trouble if this month’s revenue tracking holds throughout the year.”
In a Monday afternoon press conference, Gov. Chris Christie said OLS is “not giving us real numbers.”
However, Rosen said in the memo that prior administrations did not release revenue reports for the month of July because those amounts could be skewed, with the revenues being used in the past or present fiscal year. Also, not all the data on sales tax revenue is included.
He cautioned that more time needs to be given to determine if there are any “larger macroeconomic developments.”
“When the dust finally settles in the next month or two, we will see which fiscal year 2011 estimates proved more accurate,” he wrote.