STATE OF CONNECTICUT
THE STATE COMPTROLLER
WYMAN PROJECTS $139.9 MILLION DEFICIT,
|Contact: Steve Jensen|
State Comptroller Nancy Wyman today projected the state will end the 2002 fiscal year with a budget deficit of $139.9 million, but said there are signs the state's economy is improving.
"Overall, the economic recovery is going a little slower than we expected," Wyman said. "But some important areas of the economy are moving in the right direction and I am still optimistic of a strong rebound by spring."
Wyman noted that a dramatic slowdown in job losses in November led to a 3.5 percent growth in the state's major revenue source, the income tax. The state was losing about 6,000 jobs per month in August and September, she said, but that improved to a reduction of about 1,700 jobs in November. The increase in income-tax receipts despite continued job losses was due to an overall rise in taxable wages earned by the state's workforce.
Sales-tax collections were down about $15 million, Wyman said, but the rate of decline slowed substantially. Wyman projects a continued upswing in sales-tax receipts over the next several months.
Wyman's latest deficit estimate is about $44 million larger than her December projection. She attributed the increase to weak revenues in several categories, including the corporation tax, which dropped by about $10 million as a result of shrinking profits.
Collection of taxes on oil also declined about $10 million, and the cigarette tax brought in $4 million less than the previous month.
Investment income from the Treasury declined $23 million due to the declining rates of return and the state having less cash on hand. Those losses were offset somewhat by a $19.5 million savings in debt-service cost.
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 - email@example.com
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