With Democrats accusing Chris Christie of being overly optimistic and allies attempting to explain things away, New Jersey state revenues missed their December target by almost a quarter billion dollars. That’s also below where they were a year ago, according to this report.
The state collected $2.33 billion last month, but had budgeted for $2.57 billion – a 9.1 percent difference. Overall, state revenues are $332 million off projections for the budget year that ends July 1, according to the Treasury Department.
The state collected $34 million less last month than it did December 2012. Still, revenue collections are healthier year-to-date than they were in the last budget year, Treasury officials said.
While both sides are attempting to spin the facts, NJ Gov Christie will likely have a hard time selling a tax cut he and other state republicans have previously mentioned. As it stands, NJ remains one of America’s highest taxed states.
“At the end of 2012, many taxpayers were concerned about the prospect of higher federal tax rates taking effect in 2013 and sought to collect bonuses they were due before the end of 2012,” Steindel said in a statement. “We continue to see signs of firming in the New Jersey economy, including rates of job growth that are running ahead of those in neighboring states, gains in auto sales, strengthening of the housing market and continued reductions in our unemployment rate.”
But Democrats called the numbers “extremely problematic,” and said they warned Gov. Chris Christie that his projections were too optimistic.
“The revenue numbers are troubling,” said Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic), the incoming budget committee chairman. “In fact, the Assembly and the Legislature as a whole had strongly suggested to the governor and his administration when the budget was being formulated last year that we believed the projections from treasury were overly aggressive.”