HEADLINES : Connecticut
Tax Revenues Plunge; State Budget Deficit Balloons
A new state budget report Monday showed a steep decline in tax revenues and a widening deficit now projected at $200 million for the current fiscal year that ends June 30 - and it instantly reheated last year's political debate over Democratic Gov.Dannel P. Malloy's plans to fix government finances.
Malloy's budget director, Ben Barnes, minimized the seriousness of the problem, saying, "To put these numbers in perspective, our estimated deficit is equal to approximately 1 percent of general fund expenditures."
But Republican legislative leaders decried the "consensus revenue figures" that came out of the legislative Office of Fiscal Analysis and the governor's budget office, which is called the Office of Policy and Management, or OPM.
The "consensus" figures that came out of the legislative and executive budget offices, for the state's annual $20.7 billion annual budget, showed a $125 million decline in the state's general fund from OPM's estimate of a month ago. The change is "primarily the result of a $147 million drop in income tax receipts," Barnes said.