Office of the State Treasurer


CONTACT:  Tom Vincz
January 16, 2004
(609) 633-6565
December Revenues Stay on Budget Targets,
Reflect Improving Job Picture

 TRENTON - New Jersey Treasurer John E. McCormac announced today that State revenue collections for December 2003 totaled approximately $2.44 billion - $79.5 million, or 3.4 percent ahead of projections for the month.

 For December, Gross Income Tax collections totaled $726.88 million, which is 2.7 percent ahead of estimates. "Our withholding numbers remain strong, which means people are working," noted McCormac. The Treasurer said the performance of income tax collections for the first six months of the fiscal year - $88.8 million, or three percent, ahead of targets for the period - "shows another bounce from the economic rebound we're seeing in New Jersey under Governor McGreevey's leadership."

 McCormac said: "It is clear that we are seeing the fiscal impact from such indicators as the 40,000 new jobs created in the State over the last twelve months and the 70,566 new business filings for 2003, another record high for the calendar year. New Jersey's job growth continues to outpace the growth rate of our neighboring states, which helps explain why State revenues are outpacing our projections," McCormac said

 Corporation Business Tax collections remained strong in December, generating $381.6 million in revenues for the month, 11.4 percent above targets. Sales Tax collections, at $602.4 million for the month, were off by 3.1 percent. Sales Tax receipts are a reflection of November retail activity because of the one-month lag between when the tax is charged and when revenues are remitted to the State. The Treasurer noted that holiday sales got off to a slow start due to a late November Thanksgiving, and a snowy weekend at the end of the month. "We are confident, from the information we have gathered so far from December retail activity, that Sales Tax numbers will rebound in January."

 The Treasurer cautioned that the good FY 2004 performance does not minimize the budgetary challenge that the State is facing in FY 2005. "We utilized $1.5 billion in tobacco proceeds and $400 million in federal aid, neither of which is likely to materialize again in FY 2005. Growth in 2004 revenues gives us a greater base in 2005, but not nearly to the extent needed to offset the one-time revenues this year."

 For the six months ending December 31, 2003, State revenues totaled $11.2 billion - nearly $350 million, or 3.2 percent, above projections. New Jersey's "Big Three" revenues, Gross Income Tax, Sales Tax, and Corporation Business Tax, total $3.1 billion, $3.17 billion, and $976 million, respectively.

 "The Governor has strengthened the state's economy and fostered strong job growth through a re-tooled business incentive program and targeted investments in transportation, school construction, job training and brownfields development. These investments exemplify why New Jersey is a national leader in new job creation and how they ultimately contribute to the State's fiscal stability," McCormac said.

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