Seal of the  State of Connecticut, Office of the State Comptroller

STATE OF CONNECTICUT

NANCY WYMAN
COMPTROLLER

OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER
55 ELM STREET
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT 06106-1775

MARK OJAKIAN
DEPUTY COMPTROLLER

WYMAN PROJECTS $265.4 MILLION SURPLUS; SAYS
BUDGETING PRACTICES DRAINING EXCESS REVENUE
Comptroller Says Taxpayers Deserve More Responsible Budget
Contact: Steve Jensen
860-702-3308/3301

State Comptroller Nancy Wyman today projected a $265.4 million year-end budget surplus, but criticized faulty budgeting practices for draining excess revenue from the state's coffers to meet ongoing expenses.

Revenues are expected to exceed originally budgeted expenditures by more than $405 million by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, Wyman said. But $140 million in unbudgeted spending has reduced the net surplus to the current $265.4 million projection.

Wyman said the state should not continue to build unrealistically low budgets that rely on extraordinary economic growth just to stay in balance. Creating unrealistic spending plans, she said, also gives lawmakers the false impression that the state can increase spending and cut taxes at the same time.

"The state should not be relying on excess revenue produced by an overheated economy just to make ends meet," Wyman said. "The taxpayers who created this surplus deserve a budget that accurately reflects the cost of running state government. Fortunately, the economy has been producing enough revenue to keep the budget in balance."

The driving forces behind the surplus continue to be the income and sales taxes, Wyman said. The income tax is expected to end the fiscal year $150.4 million over budget and the sales tax will bring in $31.4 million more than expected.

Combined, the two taxes will produce more than $7 billion in revenue.

Despite robust growth in those tax receipts, however, overall revenues are expected to rise at a more modest 3.5 percent rate.

General Fund spending, meanwhile, is expected to grow 6 percent this fiscal year.

"Obviously, this gap between revenue and expenditure growth cannot be sustained," Wyman said, noting that the Governor's budget office is projecting a deficit of more than $200 million in the 2002 fiscal year. "The state must act now to implement policies that stabilize the revenue base and moderate growth in spending."

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
April 3, 2000

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