New Jersey faces a revenue shortfall of more than $1.2 billion for fiscal 2009, with gross income tax receipts in April coming in $800 million below prior estimates, according to the state's Office of Legislative Services.

David Rosen, the OLS' budget and finance officer, yesterday sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, R-Essex, detailing the office's latest revenue calculations, per Kean's request. The office now anticipates the state will collect more than $2 billion less revenue in fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2010 in comparison to executive budget estimates for the two years. Fiscal 2009 ends June 30.

"The OLS believes the two-year revenue shortfall may exceed, perhaps significantly, $2 billion compared to what was estimated in [Gov. Jon Corzine's] budget message," according to the letter. "Importantly, much of the shortfall is occurring in the current fiscal year, for which the state has only two months time to close a potential deficit before the fiscal year ends. The fiscal year 2009 revenue shortfall is likely to exceed $1.2 billion, while the executive has projected an available surplus of only $701.6 million."

Rosen described gross income tax collections as "extremely weak." The OLS was anticipating April GIT receipts to come in 17% below the same month last year, yet the state received $800 million less in GIT revenue in April, a 40% drop.

Rosen will present additional revenue updates on May 19 when he testifies before the Assembly Budget Committee. Last month, Rosen told the Senate Budget Committee that the OLS' revenue projections were $383 million and $223 million below Corzine's fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2010 revenue estimates, respectively.

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