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 $400.4 MILLION SURPLUS, URGES LEGISLATURE TO USE SURPLUS TO PROTECT TAXPAYERS

Contact: Steve Jensen
860-702-3308

State Comptroller Nancy Wyman today projected that the state will end the 2001 fiscal Year with a budget surplus of $400.4 million, and urged the General Assembly to use the surplus to protect taxpayers against an economic slowdown.

Wyman will propose legislation this session calling for an increase in the amount of surplus funds that are deposited yearly into the state's emergency Rainy Day Fund. Her plan would deposit a projected additional $213 million of the current surplus into the fund, bringing its balance to $777 million.

An estimated $41 million of interest earned by the fund would be directed to a Municipal Revenue Sharing Account for distribution to all Connecticut's cities and towns. Municipalities could use the grant money to create or increase their own emergency funds, Wyman said, or for debt avoidance or one-time expenses that could prevent or lessen any local tax hikes.

"I strongly believe that government has a responsibility to do whatever it can to guard against raising taxes during an economic slowdown," Wyman said. "Government should not be reaching into taxpayers' pockets at the time when they can least afford it."

Although Connecticut's economy remains fundamentally healthy, projections show moderating growth in employment, income, retail sales and the housing market. If the projections hold and recent enormous gains in the financial markets subside, state revenue growth can also be expected to decline.

Currently, surplus funds are deposited annually in the Rainy Day Fund to bring it to 5 percent of net general appropriations. Wyman's proposal calls for the fund to be raised to up to 6 1/2 percent of net general appropriations. Each one-percent increase in the Rainy Day Fund raises the fund balance by $120 million, based on fiscal year 2002 estimates.

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
January 1, 2001

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