Treasurer says he won’t discuss preliminary tax revenue collection numbers

TRENTON – State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff refused to discuss preliminary data on April tax collections during this morning’s Department of

TRENTON – State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff refused to discuss preliminary data on April tax collections during this morning’s Department of Treasury Assembly budget hearing.

The treasurer said he would not discuss preliminary numbers during Wednesday’s hearing despite news from the state’s Office of Legislative Services which, in an e-mailed memo to lawmakers, indicated April’s gross income tax and corporation business tax receipts fell short of Gov. Chris Christie’s projections.

Sidamon-Eristoff said the agency will wait until next week to issue its April revenue numbers.

“I don’t think it’s an unreasonable request for a snapshot today,” Assemblyman John Burzichelli, (D-3), Paulsboro, told Sidamon-Eristoff sometime after the Treasurer refused to discuss the numbers when he was asked about them by the committee’s chairman, Assemblyman Vincent Prieto, (D-32), Secaucus.

“I understand,” Sidamon-Eristoff replied, adding, “I’d like to give a complete picture of where we stand … early next week.”

The topic of Wednesday’s hearing was geared toward the Department of Treasury’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposal. However, a Tuesday OLS memo projecting trailing revenues makes it hard to ignore the overall picture, Assembly Democrats argued.

“Again, I say to you, I don’t think it’s an unreasonable request,” Burzichelli repeated, adding, “But, I sense you just don’t feel comfortable talking to us.”

Sidamon-Eristoff nodded in agreement.

The treasurer is slated to appear before Assembly and Senate lawmakers to give updated testimony on revenue and the state’s proposed budget in two weeks.

OLS told lawmakers in the memo preliminary numbers show last month’s gross income tax and corporation business tax receipts fell short of Gov. Chris Christie’s projections.

“Based on our tracking, it appears that both the Gross Income Tax and the Corporation Business Tax underperformed OLS’ expectations for the month,” OLS’ Legislative Budget and Finance Officer David Rosen said in the email.

“Rather than increasing compared to last April as expected, both income tax and corporations tax revenues declined this April,” he wrote.

Rosen said detailed numbers should be released on or around May 14. Treasurer says he won’t discuss preliminary tax revenue collection numbers