New Jersey revenue $254 million off forecast in 2012-report
Sept 10 (Reuters) - New Jersey's revenue collections came in $254 million below estimates in fiscal 2012, the state's nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services told lawmakers on Mon day.
Total revenue grew 2.9 percent to nearly $25.4 billion during the fiscal year that ended June 30.
"The shortfall means this year's budget starts with $254 million less than anticipated, requiring even higher growth than was already assumed by (Governor Chris Christie) to meet his targets for this fiscal year," New Jersey Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto, a Democrat, said in a statement.
The biggest drag on revenue was a 9 percent drop in corporation tax collections from the previous year, to just over $2 billion in fiscal 2012. That was $287 million less than projected.
Individual income tax collections were up 4.6 percent to $11.1 billion in fiscal 2012, nearly $209 million more than forecast. The state's total revenue collections come from a dozen additional sources, including sales taxes.
Christie, a Republican, has faced growing doubts about whether the state is making the economic comeback he has been touting.
The state's unemployment rate hit 9.8 percent in July, the highest it has been since 1977 and the fourth-highest among states.
Legislators originally believed that the projected fiscal 2012 revenue gap would be even bigger. The latest number comes after most revenue collections and year-end accounting adjustments were completed.
New Jersey's general fund balance at the close of 2012 was expected to be $570 million, according to New Jersey Treasury spokesman Andrew Pratt.
"This revenue shortfall will result in an adjustment in the fund balance," Pratt said.
The amount of the adjustment will not be determined until the state's comprehensive annual financial report is released at the end of December, he said.
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