Buono releases OLS letter showing FY12 shortfall of $540M

TRENTON – State revenue collections are $540 million below the administration’s targets for the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to an Office of Legislative Services letter to a state senator.

David Rosen, the legislative budget and finance office for the nonpartisan office, told Sen. Barbara Buono, (D-18), Metuchen, that there’s a $542 million revenue shortfall in Gov. Chris Christie’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget.

“Total collections according to the State’s Comprehensive Financial System are about $24.156 billion compared to a target of $24.698 billion in the Treasurer’s May 23, 2012 testimony to the Legislative Budget Committees,” Rosen wrote in a letter to Buono, which the senator released Thursday afternoon.

“The difference between expected and realized revenue ($542.0 million) will be reduced in the coming weeks by a number of large and small year-end accounting adjustments,” Rosen wrote. “Typically, these adjustments shift between $200 million to $300 million from the new fiscal year to the old fiscal year.”

The exchange came after Buono sent a letter to Rosen requesting a detailed report on state revenue collections for the past two months. Buono accused Christie of failing to meet the terms of his own executive order he signed shortly after taking office, which says the Department of Treasury should release monthly revenue reports no later than the tenth business day of each month.

“While the Christie administration has refused to provide either June or July revenue figures in violation of the governor’s own executive order, the Office of Legislative Services’ ongoing review of Treasury’s revenue collection database shows that revenues so far have come in $540 million below the Treasurer’s targets,” Buono said in the statement.

“Even allowing for typical adjustments of $200 million to $300 million, that means we will have started off this fiscal year with about half of Governor Christie’s projected surplus already gone,” she said. “And we still don’t know how far revenue collections are down in July because the governor has refused to provide those numbers.”

Rosen told Buono detailed reports could not yet be provided for June and July, saying “final accounting is still incomplete and such detailed reporting is not yet possible, we do have access to some pertinent information.”

The information OLS provided was from the 14 major tax revenues that OLS tracks as of the third week of August, Rosen said.

Earlier story:

Buono asks OLS for detailed revenue collection data Buono releases OLS letter showing FY12 shortfall of $540M