First Rainy Day Fund Deposit in More Than a Decade, Increased Surplus, and Property Tax Relief Top Highlights of Detailed Revenue Update Provided to Senate Budget Committee
TRENTON – State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio appeared before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today to present revised revenue estimates for both FY2019 and FY2020, highlighting New Jersey’s improved revenue outlook due in part to the record-setting $3.627 billion in Gross Income Tax receipts the state collected for the all-important month of April.
“While we correctly anticipated the taxpayer behavior that played out, we not only met our robust April tax collection targets, but we encountered somewhat of a surprise when Gross Income Tax Collections set a new April record, slightly increasing our revenue forecast for FY2019,”said Treasurer Muoio. “This improved revenue outlook means we will be making a deposit into the state’s Surplus Revenue Fund for the first time in more than a decade. Based on the law and our revised revenue estimates for FY2019, this long-absent deposit is projected to equal $317.1 million, helping to minimize any future disruption in services and benefits in the event of an economic downturn.”
The Treasurer also underscored the continued need for sustainable revenue and reiterated the Governor’s pledge to deliver additional direct property tax to New Jersey residents, contingent upon passage of a true millionaire’s tax.
“The Governor believes strongly that we should boost direct property tax relief to the people of this state while we have a little breathing room in this budget. Given what lies ahead, we may not have this opportunity again soon. Accordingly, he is proposing a new, stand-alone, one-year program that would return $250 million directly to state taxpayers through a refundable tax credit,” added Muoio. “Everyone has a different opinion on what should be a priority, but the bottom line is that without sustainable revenues and a robust surplus to help us weather any storms, none of our priorities can be addressed. Asking millionaires to pay a few more cents on the dollar is the right thing to do, both morally and fiscally.”
Treasurer Muoio also announced that the total revenue forecast for the fiscal year that comes to a close June 30 has been revised upward by $377 million and Treasury is also projecting back-to-back surplus balances of over a billion dollars for both FY2019 and FY2020. Muoio also announced the Murphy administration will deposit $317 million in the state’s rainy day fund for FY2019, the first such deposit in more than a decade.