Senate Majority Says Additional Revenues Should Go Towards Tax Relief

Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos and members of the Senate Majority Conference today released a revenue forecast by the Senate Finance Committee that estimates additional General Fund revenues, above the Executive’s projection, of $438 million in 2011-12, offset by $23 million less than the Executive’s estimate for state fiscal year 2010-11.

The revenue projection, based on an economic forecast by the Senate’s nationally recognized fiscal consultants, IHS Global Insight, shows that the total two-year General Fund revenue surplus is $415 million.

“While a forecast of additional revenue is good news, it should not be used for additional spending. It should be used to support the state’s reserve funds or for items that provide state and local tax relief,” Senator Skelos said. “Our goals must be to cut state spending, reduce taxes and create private sector jobs.”

Senator Jack M. Martins feels strongly that the funds should be used to provide tax relief. “During a tough fiscal time, we need to used for tax relief. Our taxpayers need and deserve a break,” he said.

“I'm very pleased that we had the Consensus Forecasting Conference today and the Legislature is right on schedule in following the 2007 Budget Reform Act,” Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-C-I, Syracuse), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said. “We should have the revenue forecast completed by tomorrow which will lead to joint Senate-Assembly public conference committee meetings in mid-March. This process bodes well for an orderly budget process and hopefully a timely budget. "

This year the Senate has passed legislation to enact a state spending cap, a local property tax cap and a tax credit plan to encourage the creation of private sector jobs.

The Senate will act within two weeks on its budget proposal that will be submitted to public budget conference committee negotiations with the Assembly and used during continued discussions with the Governor.

Link to revenue forecast report: