Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

N.J. Tax Collections Coming in $180M Ahead of Projections

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

N.J. Tax Collections Coming in $180M Ahead of Projections

Article excerpt

Tax collections were running $180 million ahead of Governor Christie's revenue projections at the halfway mark of the state fiscal year, according to figures released by the administration Wednesday, reversing a trend that over the last few years has led to unplanned cuts and credit-rating downgrades.

The numbers were obtained in response to a public records request filed by The Record and show a marked difference from the same period last year when the state was running a $331 million revenue shortfall. The year before, the gap at the midpoint of the fiscal year was $426 million.

New Jersey's constitution requires a balanced budget, and Christie last year was forced to delay property tax relief payments and significantly reduce the state payment into the public employee pension system to address a shortfall that later swelled to $1 billion. The year before, Christie used surplus funds to close the fiscal year in balance.

The figures released by the state Department of Treasury on Wednesday show tax collections in December 2014 came in $237 million above revenue projections, helping reverse a nearly $50 million shortfall from November. That left tax collections 1.6 percent ahead of revenue projections for the $32.5 billion budget at the midway point of the state fiscal year, which runs through June 30.

Treasury officials did not comment on the new data, but they have previously cited a $75 million windfall from a back-taxes collection initiative and an extra Wednesday in December 2014 as factors that boosted collections that month compared with December 2013.

The Record submitted a request for the revenue figures in January in response to Treasury's new policy of releasing only a comparison of tax collections to rate of growth projections, not the actual dollar amounts projected for each source of tax revenue. This is the second time The Record has had to file a public records request to obtain the data, which in the past was routinely made public on a monthly basis. …

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