DiNapoli report: State tax receipts on the rise

David Lombardo

Times Union

Apr 18, 2018

State tax collections spiked in December as New Yorkers raced to pay their personal income taxes during the 2017 calendar year, according to a state cash report released today by the comptroller’s office

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is reporting that tax receipts are up for the state’s fiscal year, which ended in March. Between April 2017 and March 2018, the state collected $79.3 billion in state taxes, a 6.6 percent increase from the previous fiscal year.

“Strong personal income tax receipts from December through March helped boost the end-of-year bottom line,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “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.”

Heading into the current fiscal year, which began this month, the state had a general fund balance of $9.4 billion, which is about $1.7 billion more than the start of the previous fiscal year. For context, though, this balance wouldn’t be enough money to pay the state’s bills for even a month.

Below is additional fiscal information straight from the press release issued by the comptroller’s office:

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 equivalen 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.