NJ tax collections lower than hoped

Trenton, New Jersey.

Trenton, New Jersey. (1/3/13)

TRENTON - New Jersey's economic situation could be far worse than feared, according to the state revenue expert.

The state must have a balanced budget, but according to Dr. David Rosen, tax collections are way below what Gov. Chris Christie thought they would be to start off the fiscal year.

If revenues don't pick up, Rosen and other financial experts say the state could be forced to cut services.

According to Rosen's testimony before the state Senate Budget Committee today, the state is about $200 million behind on the money needed for last year. It's also half a billion dollars in the red so far this year.

Rosen predicts the hole could grow to more than $2 billion by the end of the year, if things continue on their current course. The only solution, according to Rosen, would be a so-called "spectacular revenue acceleration."

Sen. Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) told News 12 New Jersey that there will have to be some cuts, but no one has yet speculated what those cuts could be. It's likely that one of them would be the much promised income tax cut.

Still, Rosen says rebuilding from Sandy and new changes to the federal tax laws could possibly provide a much needed boost.  

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