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 SAYS BUDGET DEFICIT TRIPLES TO $338 MILLION
For Immediate Release Contact: Steve Jensen
December 1, 2008 860-702-3308/3301
Steven.Jensen@po.state.ct.us

NOTE: COMPTROLLER WYMAN IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT TODAY - SJ

State Comptroller Nancy Wyman today said the state's projected budget deficit has more than tripled in the past month to $338 million, and is expected to grow larger by the end of the fiscal year.

Wyman's estimate - which is about $50 million higher than that made by the Governor's budget office - includes the $71.8 million in deficit-mitigation cuts passed by the General Assembly late last month. Because the deficit estimate now exceeds one percent of total General Fund appropriations for fiscal 2009, or $177 million, the Governor is required to submit a new mitigation plan to the legislature within 30 days.

"I anticipate that as deteriorating economic conditions are further reflected within actual revenue collections, my deficit estimate will rise," Wyman wrote in her monthly report to the Governor.

The Comptroller expects the income tax to bring in about $131 million less than originally budgeted, while the sales tax is projected to drop by about $207 million.

Connecticut has lost 7,100 jobs so far this fiscal year, about half in October alone. Payroll withholding income tax receipts are down 2.8 percent from a year ago. The state's unemployment rate of 6.5 percent is at a 15-year high.

Advance retail sales are down 4.1 percent from last year and corporate profits continue to show negative results. Existing home sales are at a 12-year low in the state.

Wyman again called on the Governor and the legislature to address not only the current revenue shortfall, but an additional $500 million "structural deficit" that has been created by using prior years' surplus funds to pay for current expenses. If no plan is created to deal with the overall deficit by the end of the fiscal year June 30, she said, state law requires that any deficit be automatically covered by the state's Rainy Day Fund, which now stands at about $1.4 billion.

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

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