STATE OF CONNECTICUT
THE STATE COMPTROLLER
|WYMAN PROJECTS BUDGET DEFICIT OF $414.9 MILLION|
|Contact: Steve Jensen|
State Comptroller Nancy Wyman today projected the state will end the fiscal year with a budget deficit of $414.9 million.
Despite some encouraging economic signals, Wyman's estimate is about $23 million higher than her November projection. The rise is mainly due to weak receipts from the income tax and higher-than-expected spending by state agencies, Wyman said in her monthly report to the Governor.
Income tax collections continue to be affected by the state's poor employment picture. Connecticut has lost about 6,500 jobs since the 2003 fiscal year began July 1. The rate of job loss accelerated in October, Wyman said, and the overall unemployment rate of 4.2 percent is the highest in five years.
Wyman said the bleak job situation should prompt the Governor to reconsider his threat to lay off 3,000 state employees in the midst of the crucial holiday shopping season.
"This state needs those 3,000 workers in the checkout line, not the unemployment line," she said. "I firmly believe there are other ways to deal with this deficit that will not cause as much harm to the economy."
Wyman has urged the Governor to simultaneously negotiate a three-pronged plan to address the deficit that would include:
Wyman said the drop in income tax receipts was partially offset by encouraging gains in collections from the sales tax and the tax on corporate profits. More than 80 percent of the $131.7 million of agency overspending is related to rising health care costs, Wyman said.
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
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