Lower than anticipated capital spending was the biggest single factor that helped drive New York’s spending below February projections for fiscal 2008 ending March 31, according to a preliminary year-end results released by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli last week.

The state spent $1.1 billion less on capital projects than anticipated in the governor’s February update of the financial plan. 

New York’s all-fund spending came in at $116 billion in fiscal 2008, $4.68 billion less than anticipated in the $120.68 billion enacted budget and $2.3 billion below projections in the February financial plan, according to the report and division of budget documents.

Other factors driving down spending were reduced local assistance, which was $639 million below February projections, and reduced state operations — $408 million below projections.

All-funds receipts came in nearly $1.5 billion below projections in part due to lower-than-expected federal receipts, which were $932 million below what was anticipated. Personal income tax and consumption tax receipts came in above February estimates by $120 million and $60 million, respectively, but that was offset by business tax receipts that were $283 million below projections.  

DiNapoli characterized spending and revenue projections as a “moving target” that requires keeping close track on expenditures in the current fiscal year.

“The economy is in rough shape, and the worst may still be around the corner,” the comptroller said in a press release. “Albany should keep an eraser handy.”

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