NJ budget picture continues to worsen

    A bleak budget outlook in New Jersey appeared to be worsening at the first day of Senate budget hearings.

    A bleak budget outlook in New Jersey appeared to be worsening at the first day of Senate budget hearings.
    Caption: David Rosen, Head of the Legislature’s Budget and Finance Office
    Credit: John O’Boyle/The Star-Ledger

    Listen:
    [audio: reports20090406budget.mp3]

    David Rosen, head of the Legislature’s Budget and Finance Office, says with more data on tax collections coming in, the state budget gap is widening. He told Senator Barbara Buono sales tax revenues were considerably down during the holiday shopping season.

    Rosen: As the numbers were coming in we were just astonished, we had never seen anything like that (Buono: and that is the worst quarter in sales tax history since it’s inception 40 years ago) absolutely, and that’s the most important quarter of the year we get more money from the sales tax in that quarter than any other, so if you are going to have a bad quarter you don’t want it to be that one.

    Rosen says New Jersey could see an additional 380 million dollar gap by the end of the fiscal year in June if revenues come in as expected. Just how to bridge that gap is being evaluated as part of the budget process.

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