OLS now projects more than $700M shortfall through next fiscal year

TRENTON – The state’s Office of Legislative Services revised its latest revenue numbers upward Tuesday, but still warned that New Jersey could be facing a more than $700 million budget shortfall.

David Rosen, budget officer for the non-partisan office, told Assembly lawmakers OLS upwardly adjusted its latest figures based off the administration’s revised revenue forecast.

“Compared to those revised revenue forecasts, we anticipate $259.4 million less revenue in Fiscal Year 2013 and $441.2 million less in FY 2014, for a two-year gap of $700.6 million,” Rosen said. “Six weeks ago that gap was $637 million.”

Rosen testified before Assembly lawmakers a day after the state Treasurer told a Senate budget panel the administration was knocking another $132 million off its spending plan that had already been revised down by about $400 million. The Treasurer reduced the state’s revenue forcast by $166 million.

The current fiscal year ends on June 30.

Rosen again warned the Assembly that uncertainty over housing trust fund dollars and the privatization plan of the New Jersey Lottery could spike the deficit.

None of OLS’ upward revision related to a tax revenue forecast, according to Rosen. The majority is attributed to the state receiving an additional $40 million owing to a legal proceeding involving the master settlement with the tobacco companies and $20 million from the state taking additional money from the unclaimed property fund.

OLS now projects more than $700M shortfall through next fiscal year