State revenues continued to trail expectations in October as the first effects of Superstorm Sandy were felt on the state's collections last month.
Year to date, revenue collections are $263 million short of projections, with the bulk of the shortfall coming from sales tax, which is off $119 million from expectations for the first four months of the fiscal year.
Though the full brunt of Sandy's impact has been felt this month, casino closings and sales taxes were likely off due to the storm, which slammed the state on Oct. 29. For the month of October, casino revenue was off $5.3 million, putting the year to date shortfall at $21.5 million.
Corporation business taxes were off $70 million for the month of October, which according to State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, was due to an "unusual and large refund."
At $2.69 billion for the year, income tax collections have exceeded expectations by 1.6 percent, or $43 million.
It's unknown whether Sandy's destruction has taken a proposed tax cut off the table as Gov. Chris Christie has said he will wait to assess the damage before making any decisions. For their part, Democrats have said they will wait until the end of the year to gauge the state's financial picture before deciding on a tax cut and both sides have said any decision has no doubt been delayed by the storm.
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"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi- The Daily Beast
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