Comptroller’s report shows New York’s state finances in strong position

New York ended the first quarter of the fiscal year on a strong note as the monthly State Cash Report, published by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Friday, showed tax receipts beating budget projections by nearly $5 billion.

According to the report, the state collected $30.9 billion in personal income, consumption, business and other taxes for the three-month period ending on June 30. That’s nearly $17 billion more than New York received for the same quarter last year. However, there is a significant caveat to that.

DiNapoli noted in a release announcing the report that the tax deadline extension last year due to the COVID-19 was a key reason for the drastic increase. In 2020, the April 15 tax deadline was pushed back to July 15. This year’s deadline was extended as well, but for only a month, which kept it in the first quarter.

The led to the state reporting $22.2 billion in personal income tax payments, an increase of $13.5 billion from the same quarter last year.

The tax deadline changes also affected the state’s General Fund balance. At $15.5 billion through the end of June, the balance exceeds the 2021-22 budget plan by $5.8 billion and is up from the nearly $7 billion balance reported last year.

At $4.8 billion, consumption and use taxes jumped up 43.4% from last year and exceeded the budget forecast by $571 million. Business taxes for the quarter, totaling $3.2 billion, were more than double the 2020-21 first-quarter tally of $1.5 billion and more than $600 million better than planned.

In a statement, DiNapoli said the combination of better than projected tax collections and billions in federal COVID-19 funds means the state has a chance to improve its fiscal health.

“The state should use these revenues to bolster reserves or for pay-as-you-go funding for critical infrastructure projects,” he said.

While collections were higher than projections for the quarter, spending was actually below budget for the quarter. The $46.4 billion in all funds spending was $2.4 billion less than projected.

Three weeks ago, the Comptroller’s Office released a report indicating the state’s cumulative four-year budget gaps have shrunk by more than $35 billion to $3.4 billion.

DiNapoli said the post-shutdown economic recovery along with the federal relief helped reduce the deficit. Other factors include tax increases targeted at high-income earners and new revenue streams, including recreational marijuana and mobile sports betting. The last two indicators were part of the budget package the state legislature passed in April.

This article was originally posted on Comptroller’s report shows New York’s state finances in strong position

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