Tax collections for the first five months of the fiscal year (April through August) were $3.3 billion higher than they were for the same time last year, but they were $75.7 million below what was projected in the Aug. 2 updated financial plan, according to the August 2011 Cash Report released by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli today.
The state’s General Fund closed out August with a balance of $1.6 billion, $700,000 less than expected under the updated financial plan. But receipts and transfers were $31 billion more than last year, largely due to higher personal income-tax collections in April and $500 million in delayed refunds that reduced last year’s revenue, the report said.
— The General Fund personal income-tax collections were $11.3 billion, a growth of $2.1 billion over last year. They were $45.2 million less than projected in the financial plan.
— The General Fund tax collections were $16.8 billion, a $2.5 billion increase over the same period last year but $45.2 million lower than anticipated in the financial plan.
— General Fund receipts and transfers were $22.3 billion, $3.1 billion higher than last year but $78.2 million lower than projected.
“Revenue collections, as anticipated, have grown from last year,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “Still, the Blue Chip consensus economic forecasts for growth continue to be revised downward, raising concerns for the remainder of the fiscal year. We should be prepared for the possibility that revenue growth may falter, requiring downward adjustments to the Financial Plan.”
Other findings in the report include:
— General Fund spending, which includes transfers to other funds, was $22.1 billion, a $1.2 billion increase over the same period last year. Local assistance grew $440.9 million, largely because of higher Medicaid expenses. But spending for education was lower.
— All government funds spending rose $1.3 billion, or 2.7 percent, in large part due to the higher Medicaid spending (up $851.4 million) and general state charges that are up $643.9 million. That is offset by lower education spending.