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WYMAN PROJECTS $88 MILLION SURPLUS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000

Economy's Strong Third-Quarter Produces Strong Tax Revenues

Contact: Steve Jensen
860-702-3308

State Comptroller Nancy Wyman today projected the state will end the 2000 fiscal year with a budget surplus of $88 million, driven by unexpectedly strong revenues from the state's sales and income taxes.

After a sluggish second quarter, the state's economy rebounded in the third quarter, when more than 9,000 new jobs were created and overall personal income grew by about five percent, Wyman reported in her monthly surplus estimate to the Governor.

The strong third-quarter performance was the main reason that Wyman raised her surplus projection from last month's $34 million to the current estimate of $88 million.

"While economic forecasts indicate that we will see more moderate state growth over the next several years, Connecticut's economy at this time continues to outperform expectations," Wyman said. "People are working and they're spending, which in turn is producing very healthy revenues from the income tax and sales tax."

The income tax is expected to bring in about $4 billion by year's end and the sales tax about $3 billion, Wyman said, totaling about $81 million more revenue than was originally anticipated.

But while revenues remain robust, Wyman said state spending still has not been brought under control. The state currently is expected to spend about $118 million more than was originally budgeted, leaving the state only about $1 million under its constitutional spending cap.

If appropriations continues to rise, Wyman said, this fiscal year would be the third in a row that the state has exceeded the spending cap.

"The state is spending at double the rate of inflation, just like it was in the late 1980s when the end result was a budget deficit," Wyman said. "The extraordinary level of revenue coming in now cannot possibly be sustained for much longer, and Connecticut needs to tighten its spending before that money stream dries up."

The State Comptroller appreciates input on this and other issues from residents of the state. Please feel free to contact her office by phone - (860) 702-3300; mail - OSC, 55 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106; or, via E-mail - osc.opinions@po.state.ct.us

Learn more about the Connecticut Comptroller's Office by calling up our Internet Home Page, at the link below.

For Immediate Release
December 1, 1999

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