State Tax Collections Rose $4.9 Billion in Fiscal Year 2017-18
General Fund Balance Stood at $9.4 Billion
Tax receipts for State Fiscal Year 2017-18 reached $79.3 billion, $4.9 billion, or 6.6 percent above the previous year, according to the state cash report released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The state ended its fiscal year on March 31 with a General Fund balance of $9.4 billion, an increase of $1.7 billion over the prior fiscal year.
"Strong personal income tax receipts from December through March helped boost the end-of-year bottom line," DiNapoli said. "The state's economy continues to expand, but recent financial market volatility is a cautionary sign and questions still remain about how federal tax changes will affect the state's finances in the year ahead."
Tax receipts were below projections through the first half of the fiscal year before spiking in December, largely due to estimated personal income tax payments. Tax collections ended the fiscal year $314.5 million higher than the Division of the Budget (DOB) projections released in February. Reported receipts in the final month of the fiscal year reflect an administrative reduction of $500 million due to an increase in personal income tax refund payments from previous planned amounts. This has the effect of lowering 2017-18 reported receipts and raising 2018-19 receipts by an equivalent amount.
Personal income tax receipts for the year totaled $51.5 billion, a gain of $3.9 billion or 8.3 percent from 2016-17. Within that category, estimated payments were up by $2.8 billion or 18.8 percent. Consumption and use taxes rose to $16.7 billion, up $499.4 million or 3.1 percent from the previous year. Business tax receipts were $7.2 billion, rising 2.6 percent during the year, while collections from other taxes, including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Payroll Mobility Tax, totaled $3.9 billion, up by 7.6 percent. All Funds receipts for the year totaled nearly $165.5 billion, including $58.9 billion in federal funds.
All Funds spending rose 4.3 percent to $163.7 billion, but was $693.4 million lower than DOB's latest estimate, primarily due to lower than anticipated capital spending. Local assistance expenditures were $122 billion, up 4.9 percent, while spending on departmental operations increased less than 1 percent. DOB has indicated that $594 million in debt service payments were made in SFY 2017-18 that would have otherwise been made in 2018-19.
The $9.4 billion General Fund balance at the end of March was $3.1 billion higher than anticipated in May 2017 and $278 million higher than DOB's latest projection from February. No deposits were made to statutory "rainy day" reserves, which remained at $1.8 billion.
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