New Jersey tax collections fell 4.1 percent short of Governor Chris Christie’s projections midway through the fiscal year.
The $426 million shortfall narrowed after December revenue beat forecasts by 1.1 percent, the first time monthly collections exceeded Christie’s budget targets in the year that began July 1. Income-tax revenue was 14 percent above estimates last month, according to the state Treasury Department.
“The growth we continue to see in income-tax collections, the largest and most important revenue source for the state, is an encouraging sign that the fundamental strengths of the New Jersey economy are driving the recovery forward,” Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff said yesterday in a statement.
Christie, 50, a first-term Republican who plans to seek re- election in November, signed a $31.7 billion spending plan in June that counted on a 7.4 percent revenue increase compared with fiscal 2012. He said last month that midyear budget cuts may be needed.
November revenue missed Christie’s targets by 11 percent after Hurricane Sandy, which struck Oct. 29, kept shoppers and Atlantic City gamblers at home. Christie has said collections may rebound as rebuilding creates jobs.
Last month, the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services said revenue for the rest of the fiscal year would need to climb 12 percent to meet Christie’s budget estimates.
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