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WYMAN CREDITS TAXPAYERS FOR PROJECTED $192.3 MILLION BUDGET SURPLUS FOR 1999

Contact: Steve Jensen
860-702-3308/3301

State Comptroller Nancy Wyman today projected that Connecticut will end the 1999 fiscal year with a budget surplus of $192.3 million.

Wyman said her estimate is based mainly on the continuing strength of income tax collections, which are currently forecast to bring in nearly $120 million over original budget projections. The income tax also was the driving force behind the 1998 year-end surplus of nearly $313 million.

"Just like last year, this projected surplus is being built by the hardworking taxpayers of this state," Wyman said. "They deserve the credit for Connecticut's fiscal health."

Another major contributor to the estimated 1999 surplus are lower-than-expected income tax refund payments by the state, which are forecast to be $52.6 million under budget. Also, the sales tax is expected to bring in $21.1 million more than originally estimated

Wyman also noted, however, that General Fund spending is currently expected to exceed budget appropriations by $20.4 million. Almost half of this additional spending, or about $10 million, is within the state Department of Children and Families.

The $10 million DCF shortfall consists of the following: $5.5 million for a new safe-homes program, which will provide initial screening for appropriate foster home placement to about 200 clients; $3.9 million for hospital admissions to cover children requiring sub-acute psychiatric care; and about $600,000 for subsidized guardianships.

Wyman's projections are based on the modified cash basis of accounting, which by state law is used to formulate and execute the state budget. Wyman's office also publishes a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report prepared under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) - a system that she has urged the state to adopt because it provides a more accurate picture of the state's financial position.

Under GAAP, the cumulative General Fund deficit is $670 million.

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For Immediate Release
November 2, 1998
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