State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli issued his final report on the recently expired 2011-12 state budget, finding that it effectively closed a spending gap despite weak economic conditions. But he warned that a slow-recovering economy could cause problems in the future.
DiNapoli released the final of his quarterly reports on the budget today. The state’s 2012-13 fiscal year began on April 1, with lawmakers having passed a new $132.6 billion spending plan two days prior.
“While the state is in a significantly better fiscal position today than at any time in recent years, history has shown that can change rapidly,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “The economy has been recovering, but at a much slower pace than expected. Last fiscal year, the state experienced a great deal of volatility and state tax collections fell short of projections in seven of the last twelve months.
“We must carefully monitor the immediate revenue and spending trends, while further addressing the long-term gaps that remain.”
In particular, DiNapoli found that limiting growth in Medicaid and education spending — along with a rejiggering of the state tax code in December that raised an expected $1.9 billion in annual revenue —
“boosted the state’s long-term fiscal outlook and helped it maintain favorable cash-flow conditions during the year.”
The state’s tax receipts, however, fell $677 million below initial projections for last fiscal year. Those projections were scaled back as the year wore on, but receipts still fell $233 million short of the most recent estimates, which were made in February.
Here’s DiNapoli’s report, courtesy of the state comptroller’s office: