New York collected $12.6 billion in taxes through May, 25.8 percent higher than collections during the same period last year and $360 million more than budget projections, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reports today. The increase was largely due to non-recurring estimated personal income-tax payments in April, his May Cash Report said. The April payments primarily were driven by federal tax hikes in January, and this level of growth likely won’t continue, it said.
“With tax collections $360 million more than projections, we are seeing some positive signs for the budget,” DiNapoli said. “The state collected $30 million from the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, the first payment from Native American casinos since June 2010, and it appears that payments from other Native-American casinos are coming in the future. Sales and business tax collections are both showing strong growth so far this year. Still, the state should proceed with caution. June marks the end of the first quarter of the fiscal year, and tax collections reported in the next cash report will be a better indicator of current economic conditions.”
Tax collections were up for most taxes, including personal income taxes, business taxes and consumption taxes. Business tax collections were up $255.6 million or 55.3 percent, which was $31.5 million higher than projections. That was in large part due to increased audit collections. Consumption taxes rose $92.7 million—4.2 percent and $12 million higher than projected.
All Governmental Funds spending increased 18 percent, or just under $3 billion, compared to last year, primarily due to local assistance payments. The General Fund closing balance was $3.7 billion, $287.9 million higher than budget projections. Receipts were $448.9 million higher than anticipated and $161 million more in spending than was projected.
The state also received $2.2 billion more in federal aid than expected, or 42.3 percent, partly due to payments for disaster assistance.
Other taxes decreased $30.8 million—5.4 percent—and were $6 million lower budget projections.
Operations costs for state agencies increased $540.1 million—20.5 percent—and were $69.1 million higher than projections. Debt service declined $143.3 million, although it was $25.8 million above projections. Capital spending increased $208.1 million, $86.5 million lower than projections. All Funds spending was $103.1 million over Enacted Budget projections.
The General Fund is the state’s main operating fund, while all funds includes general, special revenue, debt service and capital projects funds, as well as federal aid.