State Comptroller Kevin Lembo certified that the state will end the 2013 fiscal year with a $236.6 million surplus.
It’s possible that number could change in the coming months since the books on the 2013 budget aren’t technically closed until September, even though the 2014 fiscal year started July 1.
In a letter to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Lembo agrees with the governor’s budget office that Connecticut’s fiscal position has improved by about $24.3 million from last month and about $600 million since December when deficit-mitigation efforts began.
About $220.8 million of the 2013 surplus will be used to close next year’s budget. The remainder of the surplus, currently estimated at $15.8 million, will be deposited into the Budget Reserve Fund — or “Rainy Day Fund” — in accordance with state statute. This transfer will bring the Budget Reserve Fund balance to $109.3 million.
“The state’s financial outlook has further improved this month — good news, but still showing reasons for caution because the most significant gains were potentially related to one-time revenue windfalls,” Lembo said. “The most significant revenue growth has occurred in the inheritance and estate tax, which is $269.8 million over budget.”
The General Fund revenues will end the year $134.8 million above initial estimates, Lembo said.
The inheritance and estate tax were $269.8 million more than estimated and the income tax and tax refunds combined also produced $183.8 million more in revenue than initial projections. The sales tax and corporation tax underperformed budget estimates by $189.3 million and $66 million, respectively, Lembo said. Overall, fiscal year 2013 General Fund revenue is 3.9 percent above last fiscal year.
“The economic recovery proceeded at a slower than expected pace during fiscal year 2013,” Lembo said. “For the twelve month period ending in May, the state added 12,500 payroll positions. The state is now 39 months into the economic recovery and has regained about half of the jobs lost to the recession.”