N.J. revenue projections off by $637 million, says budget official; treasurer disagrees

The New Jersey Legislature’s budget officer is projecting revenue growth will be less than the Christie administration expects.

David Rosen with the Office of Legislative Services estimates the state will take in $637 million less through the end of the next fiscal year than the administration forecast.

Rosen says the administration is assuming the state will get a $120 million payment from a vendor to operate the New Jersey lottery.

“The state must conclude negotiations with a single bidder quickly if that revenue is to be realized in fiscal ’13.”

State Treasurer Andrew Eristoff said Thursday he is confident that will happen.

“Although I am not at liberty to share detailed information at this time, I can assure you that the process is ongoing and is expected to reach its conclusion very soon,” he said.

Eristoff also defends the administration’s projected $180 million increase in casino revenue from recently approved Internet wagering, and $166 million from municipal housing trust funds.

The Christie administration and legislative leaders split on the process as well as projections, according to Rosen.

The relationship between the legislative staff and the administration on revenue forecasting is now at the least collaborative point in 20 years, Rosen said.

“There was no substantive discussion about, ‘Well we think your assumption about this is wrong,’ or, ‘We think withholding is going greater,’ or, ‘You haven’t taken this into consideration.’ We just don’t have those discussions anymore,” he said.

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