State tax collections through July were $479.5 million lower than collections for the same period last year, primarily reflecting lower Personal Income Tax (PIT) collections from April and May. Still, the state is in a relatively good financial position after collecting more than $3 billion from financial settlements since the state budget was enacted, according to the July cash report released this week by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“Recurring tax collections have stabilized after a volatile first quarter, and $3 billion in settlement revenue provides solid financial footing for the time being,” DiNapoli said. “State leaders need to openly discuss responsible and accountable ways to maximize the benefit of this one-time settlement revenue. It provides tremendous opportunities to address a variety of needs, but it should not be used for ongoing purposes.”

Total receipts increased 7.4 percent, or $3.3 billion, through July 31, primarily because of settlement revenues, which were approximately $2.8 billion more than initially anticipated.

Tax collections through the first four months declined 2 percent, or $479.5 million, from a year earlier primarily because of PIT collections in April. Spending rose 1.6 percent, or $673 million, due to Medicaid payments and the timing of the state’s pension contribution.

General Fund receipts (including transfers from other funds) totaled $24.7 billion through July 31, representing an increase of 13.8 percent, or just under $3 billion, from a year ago. General Fund receipts were $18.1 million below updated projections. General Fund spending (including transfers to other funds) increased 5.5 percent, or $1 billion, to $20 billion, which was $6.6 million higher than projected. The General Fund closing balance totaled just under $7 billion, which was more than $24.5 million below updated projections but $2.6 billion higher than a year earlier.

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