New Jersey revenue rose $107M in July: Treasurer

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New Jersey is on track for revenue growth in 2018 after a strong start to the new fiscal year, according to State Treasurer Ford M. Scudder.

The Department of the Treasury reported late Monday that the state collected $2.046 billion in revenue for July, a $107 million increase from a year earlier. Scudder said collections from the state’s gross income, sales and corporate business taxes met targeting projections by rising $151 million, or 9.2%, to nearly $1.8 billion. July cash collections include revenues from both the 2017 fiscal year that ended June 30 and the new fiscal year that began on July 1.

Revenue for the 2017 fiscal year has remained in line with the Department of Treasury’s updated projections released in May with gross income and sales tax collections strengthening in the second half, according to Monday’s report. Final revenue collections for 2017 will be published in a soon-to-be released Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

Scudder is forecasting that revenue growth will be consistent in 2018 with certified projections throughout the year. Fiscal 2018 began with a three-day government shutdown before Gov. Chris Christie signed a $34.7 billion budget that included $300 million of additional education spending in exchange for approval of a bill steering New Jersey Lottery revenues toward pension funding and legislation overhauling public insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield.

New Jersey has the lowest state bond rating with the exception of Illinois after 11 credit downgrades since Christie took office in January 2010. The state’s general obligation debt is rated A3 by Moody’s Investors Service, A-minus by S&P Global Ratings and A by both Fitch Ratings and Kroll Bond Rating Agency.

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