Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli expressed concern today about the state’s tax collections, saying they have fallen $170.8 million below July estimates and $259.8 million below initial estimates.
In order for the state to keep its books balanced, tax collections would have to grow 5.1 percent in the last five months of the fiscal year, which ends March 31, DiNapoli said. His projections through October included little from Superstorm Sandy, which hit Oct. 29 and is expected to plunge the state’s receipts and lead to higher expenses.
“Tax collections were lower than expected through October,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “Tax revenue estimates should be revised downward. Adjustments should also factor in the additional costs from Hurricane Sandy. As recovery efforts continue, realistic projections are critically important for the state to effectively manage its available resources.”
The state’s first quarter update in July projected tax growth of 3.1 percent for the year, but the tax collections of $35.9 billion through October rose just 1.5 percent, or $535 million, from the same period last year, DiNapoli said.
The state has yet to release its mid-year update, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggested it won’t be pleasant. The state already has a $1 billion deficit, and he has hinted that it could be double.