OLS warns revenue gap could still hit $150 million

The Office of Legislative Services warned today that the state could finish fiscal year 2013 $150 million behind revenue projections.

In its revenue snapshot, the non-partisan office notes that the 14 major revenue categories rose 6.6 percent over last year, off the 7.2 percent growth needed to hit Gov. Chris Christie’s revised revenue projections.

“Most revenues trailed the target growth rates, with the major exception being the gross income tax, which continued to out-pace its target growth rate,” OLS Budget Officer David Rosen wrote.

While some fiscal year revenue has yet to be collected, if that gap persists, the state would finish the fiscal year off $150 million.  That number is well less than 1 percent of the overall $32 billion budget.

“The important quarterly tax payments fell 4.8% below last June’s levels. Still pending is the annual year-end accounting shift of certain partnership tax payments from the CBT to the GIT of between $200-$300 million,” OLS noted.

“Once this shift has been made, the CBT will likely finish the year well below the Treasury’s year-end target,” OLS said.

But a spokesman for the treasury said despite Rosen’s warning, the administration in confident in its predictions.

“While final July accounting adjustments for the fiscal year still have to be made, we remain comfortable with our revenue projections,” said spokesman Bill Quinn.

Still, the Treasury figures drew praise from Republican lawmakers such as Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, who said earlier Thursday that “The latest revenue update reflects our state’s improved job creation numbers, particularly in the private sector, and the confidence which people have in New Jersey’s economy.

“Income tax and sales tax collections are correlated to the sustained job creation we have seen and the increased confidence by consumers. People who have a steady job contribute to our economic growth and send a positive message to businesses throughout the state.”

Earlier story:

Treasury reports June numbers

OLS warns revenue gap could still hit $150 million