Non-Partisan OLS Predicts $1 Billion Less in Revenues for NJ’s Budget
The Office of Legislative Services (OLS), the non-partisan lawyers and economist of NJ Government, projects that combined state revenues for fiscal years 2023 and 2024 will fall $1.055 billion below the estimates in Gov. Phil Murphy’s latest budget proposal.
OLS presented its findings at the kick off of the budget hearing process in late March. The Senate and Assembly Budget Committees will spend the next two months hearing from the various State Departments as they consider the Governor’s Budget. Ultimately, the legislature must propose and pass a Budget by July 1st for the Governor’s signature. Murphy has proposed a $53.1 billion spending plan for fiscal year 2024.
Budget Committee Chairman, Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), said the difference in revenue predictions were not the end of the world representing two fairly similar analyses.
For fiscal year 2023, OLS revenue estimates are $374.7 million, or 0.7 percent, below executive estimates. The difference is more pronounced in fiscal year 2024, for which OLS estimates fall $680.2 million, or 1.3 percent, below executive estimates.
The OLS revenue estimates rely on a review of current State revenue collections, revisions to State and federal laws, historical revenue collection patterns, and a variety of economic data and forecasts, as well as professional judgment, their analysis stated.
Murphy’s predicted state revenue for fiscal year 2023 is just over $54 billion, while OLS estimates $53.6 billion in revenue. For fiscal year 2024, Murphy estimates $53.8 billion in revenue while OLS estimates $53.1 billion.
With all 120 members up for re-election, the legislature will reconvene in total in early June to hear legislation and budget bills. They are expected to recess in July and will return after the November elections.