FROM THE COMPTROLLER’S OFFICE
Tax collections in April were more than $1 billion, or 17 percent lower, than comparable receipts a year ago, but $86.8 million higher than the projections included in the Enacted Budget Financial Plan released earlier this month, according to the April Cash Report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The year-over-year decrease, sharper than expected, was primarily in Personal Income Tax (PIT) collections, where a number of states experienced unexpected declines in April as most taxpayers settled tax liabilities for 2013.
“The state ended the last fiscal year in a strong position, but April income tax collections were substantially lower than anticipated,” DiNapoli said. “The Division of the Budget has released a Financial Plan that responds to the April shortfall. The recent tax collections are another indication that the economy remains unpredictable and we need to be cautious as we look ahead to the remainder of the fiscal year. My office will be releasing a detailed analysis of the Financial Plan in the coming weeks.”
Overall PIT collections in April were almost 20 percent lower than a year earlier. PIT estimated payments during the month were $1.8 billion or nearly 31 percent lower than a year ago, as taxpayer response to federal tax changes in early 2013 continued to influence collections. Withholding receipts – income taxes that are collected directly from paychecks and represent the state’s second largest revenue source after federal receipts – increased 10 percent in April.
DiNapoli also released a report detailing the state’s fiscal position as of the end of SFY 2013-14. The state ended the year with a General Fund balance approximately $526 million higher than initially anticipated, partly because SFY 2013-14 tax collections exceeded projections. The General Fund also benefited from more than $540 million in additional non-recurring resources that were not anticipated when the budget was enacted in March 2013. The state deposited $175 million into the Rainy Day Reserve Fund at the end of SFY 2013-14, the first such deposit since 2008.
DiNapoli’s office issues a state cash report every month detailing actual state revenues and spending for the prior month. The cash report focuses on two primary funds: General Fund and All Governmental Funds. The General Fund is the major operating fund of the state. All Governmental Funds includes General, Special Revenue, Debt Service and Capital Projects funds, as well as funds from the federal government. The report is now accessible in Excel and Adobe PDF formats.
To access tools to better track government spending, contracts and other fiscal issues, takke a look at the easily accessible transparency website called Open Book New York http://www.openbooknewyork.com/.