More than halfway through the 2011-12 fiscal year, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says estimates for tax revenue and spending are “too optimistic,” according to a report released today that compares Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s projected receipts and disbursements and those of the Comptroller’s Office. DiNapoli projects that over three years, revenues will lag behind estimates by $1.26 billion, and spending will be $254 million than projected.
DiNapoli released the report as part of the state’s Quick-Start budget process, which took effect several years ago. It is supposed to follow the mid-year financial report from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Division of the Budget. But the budget office hasn’t released that yet, citing volatile markets that make it more difficult to predict with any certainty. Lacking the budget office’s report, the majorities in the Senate and Assembly have not yet released their quick-start budget reports.
“The current year enacted budget made positive strides in addressing the ongoing structural deficit,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “However, we still face challenges and risks and there is much that could undermine some of the good work of the last year. Fiscal pressures — particularly on the revenue side — pose a significant challenge, and achieving balance will require an ongoing commitment by state leaders to live within our means.”
Some of the actions taken this year to eliminate a $10 billion budget gap and cut future spending may not be as effective as projected, according to his report. Factors include global market volatility, lower employment and earnings on Wall Street, a continued high unemployment rate and the housing market.
The comptroller plans to revise his mid-year report after the budget office releases its mid-year update on the financial plan.
This is a comparison chart released in the report that compares projections by the governor’s budget office and the comptroller: