N.J. revenues fell further behind Christie projection in November

New Jersey tax collections so far this year were set back further in November by increasingly sluggish corporation business tax collections.

Gov. Chris Christie's administration is banking on 3.4 percent growth to support spending in this year's budget. Collections were up 4.7 percent over last year as of September, before dropping to 2.9 percent as of October. Figures released Wednesday show they are now at 2.8 percent.

While September revenues were lifted by a bonus pay period, October and November were slowed down by the corporation business tax — a notoriously volatile source of revenue. According to Treasury data, corporation business tax collections last month were down nearly 21 percent from where they were in November 2014. 

The shortfall is small in comparison with the $33.8 billion budget. The state Treasury Department said in a statement that "in the aggregate, revenue collections are tracking close to projections contained in the FY 2016 Appropriations Act."

Of the state's 16 major revenues included in the monthly report, six are ahead of estimates, including motor vehicle fees that are up nearly 200 percent but budgeted to rise only 9 percent. 

Sales taxes also are up 4.6 percent, ahead of the 2.9 percent projection.

Gross income taxes are behind their projected 3.9 percent growth rate, with a 3.7 percent increase over the first five months of 2014. 

"Upcoming December collections will be an important month, reflecting heavier volume sales due to holiday shopping and quarterly corporate filings," the Treasury Department said.

[ Original Article ]


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