Tax collections for the first two months of the state fiscal year—April and May—were $416.4 million higher than projected at $10 billion, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced today. April collections were higher than anticipated, but those in May were $69.5 lower than expected. Compared to last year, tax collections were $124.4 million—1.2 percent—lower.
“New York may be in for a turbulent ride if the U.S. economy does not gain momentum and the European crisis escalates,” DiNapoli said. “While it is still early in the fiscal year, the last two months of tax collections illustrate the volatility of the economy. This reinforces the need to pay close attention to revenue and spending, and act quickly and decisively if we see significant drops in our tax revenues during the months ahead.”
These are some other findings in DiNapoli’s May cash report:
—Collections of consumption and use taxes dropped $29.2 million to $2.2 billion in May compared to the same period last year. But other tax collections were $25.8 million higher at $574.8 million and businesses taxes were $63.3 million more than the previous year at $461.9 million.
—All funds spending was $1.7 billion—9.2 percent—lower than the first two months of the 2011-12 fiscal year, but that was largely due to the timing of payments.
—The general fund’s $2 billion closing balance at the end of May was $724.8 million higher than expected. General fund receipts of $9 billion, which includes transfers from other funds, were $328.3 million more than anticipated. The primary reason was personal income-tax collections were $285.8 million more than expected. The general fund is the state’s major operating account, and all receipts that aren’t required by law to be deposited into another fund are included in the general fund.
—General fund spending was $8.8 billion, $396.8 million lower than projected and $8.6 million more than the same time last year. That was also largely due to the timing of payments.
—Federal funds fell $2 billion to $5.2 billion, largely because of the timing of remaining stimulus funds. They were $1.3 billion below estimates and can be attributed in part to the timing of state expenditures that drive federal assistance.