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DiNapoli warns tax collections down, while state spending up

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Jan.

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Jan. 9, 2012. Photo Credit: AP / Mike Groll

ALBANY

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Friday warned that state tax collections have dropped 4.4 percent from a year ago and the Cuomo administration must be ready to make budget adjustments.

DiNapoli’s cash report found state tax collections in the first four months of the 2016-17 fiscal year were $1.1 billion less than the same period a year ago. In addition, the Cuomo administration spent 5.1 percent more in the first four months of the fiscal year, which began April 1, than in the previous year.

“Tax collections are well below initial projections, and the Division of the Budget has made adjustments,” DiNapoli said Friday. “We still have eight months left in the fiscal year, and the state must be prepared to take action if necessary.”

The Cuomo administration maintains the fiscal plan is balanced and meeting projections. Its quarterly update stated that a “significant” decline in projected tax revenue is expected to be offset by savings in other areas.

DiNapoli said the state’s general fund ended the last four months with a balance of $6.8 billion, which was $23.3 million more than the latest projects. But he said that’s still nearly $1.1 billion lower than was projected in the state budget adopted in April. The Great Neck Plaza Democrat said the balance now is $2.9 billion lower than the same period a year ago.

The 2016-17 budget totaled $156 billion, which includes $9 billion in federal aid for superstorm Sandy and Obamacare. The total is a $9 billion increase over the 2015-16 plan.

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