New Jersey officials are hoping for strong revenues in December to help offset a $200 million drop in budgeted revenues for November, with year-to-date collections now $459 million below projections.
The state currently faces a $1.2 billion budget shortfall in the current fiscal year, which began July 1, and a $5 billion deficit for fiscal 2010.
Last month, Gov. Jon Corzine announced that state agencies will cut their budgets by a combined $600 million to help bring expenditures in line with revenues and that officials are reviewing state contracts with outside vendors and consultants to generate savings.
Still, the administration is watching the state’s revenue collections.
“November’s shortfall raises additional concerns about fiscal year 2009,” Treasurer David Rousseau said in a press release. “We will look more closely at the current-year problem once we get a report on revenues from December, which is one of our heaviest collection months of the year.”
Revenues came in under targets in November and October with sales tax, income tax, and business tax revenues all underperforming. The state’s sluggish revenues represent a 4.2% drop in tax receipts for the first five months of fiscal 2009, compared to the same period last year.
New Jersey carries AA and AA-minus ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, respectively. Moody’s Investors Service rates the state Aa3.