Department of the Treasury


CONTACT:  Tom Vincz
May 18, 2004
(609) 633-6565
Better Economic Picture Boosts Revenue
Forecast for State Budget

 TRENTON - State Treasurer John E. McCormac announced today New Jersey’s job growth under Governor McGreevey, fourth best in the nation and outpacing all regional states combined over the last year, has yielded better-than anticipated revenue growth and improved the State’s financial stability as it prepares to enter a new fiscal year with a new budget.

 Treasurer McCormac this week will update revenues for FY 2004 and FY 2005 and present the administration’s recommended budget changes, which will include additional funding for property tax relief and other priorities. Full details of the revisions will be released to the Legislature when the Treasurer testifies before both budget committees tomorrow and Thursday.

 “Under Governor McGreevey’s leadership, New Jersey’s improving economy continues to deliver healthy, steady growth in revenues to the State budget,” said Treasurer McCormac, noting that revenue growth above projections in the proposed budget has been fueled by better returns in all three big taxes -- Gross Income, Sales and Corporation Business taxes, particularly during the pivotal spring collection period. “The revenue growth is testament to the Governor’s economic policies, which have created more than 54,000 jobs in the last year, making New Jersey a national leader in job creation and business investment. The McGreevey Administration’s objective is to return the rewards of our budget and economic policies to New Jersey citizens quickly and in a fiscally responsible manner,” he said.

 “While the increased revenue is excellent news, we recognize the need to plan with due caution because the growth rate, although steady, is likely to level off in the months ahead. The adjustments we’re recommending address immediate and priority needs without over-projecting the revenue stream and committing it to higher, recurring spending. We know from experiences in the recent past that this fiscal policy can be a recipe for disaster. We clearly must also boost the surplus to a level more appropriate for a budget of this size,” he said.

 Treasurer McCormac said total revenues will be revised upward by approximately $511 million in the current fiscal year and $181 million for FY 2005. Treasurer McCormac will recommend that a large portion of the increase be earmarked for the budget surplus. “This administration has built the surplus from zero to $400 million over the last two years. Despite this progress, the surplus is too small for the proposed budget. The improved revenues will help New Jersey build a larger and safer fiscal cushion for the next fiscal year while also addressing property tax relief and other priorities,” he said.

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