- Associated Press - Friday, August 14, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey’s tax haul appears to be on the upswing.

New figures from the state Treasury show New Jersey collected nearly $2 billion in taxes last month and the state’s year-over-year collection is up 7 percent compared with 2014.

That’s a change from previous years when Gov. Chris Christie’s administration and the Democrat-led Legislature disagreed over tax collection projections.

They are important because if revenue were below projections, the state could have to unexpectedly cut the budget.

A closer look at the new figures and how they compared:



Most of the growth by percentage in tax collections is coming from the corporate business tax, which grew about 22 percent year over year. In July 2015, that rate grew to 57 percent. Despite this, the so-called business tax represents the smallest share of the state’s three large tax categories - income, sales and business. Income tax receipts have grown about 9 percent while sales tax grew at 3 percent from 2014 to 2015.



After the shuttering of four of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos in 2014, collections from the gambling halls are down nearly 8 percent year over year. The cigarette tax has brought in about 16 percent less compared with 2014. The biggest drop by percentage has been receipts from banks and financial institutions, which are down by nearly 29 percent, though the Treasury says that’s partly due to a $50 million refund stemming from previous years.



Tax collections have been a sore subject for Christie and the Legislature. They fell below projections in 2014 and resulted in painful moves on the part of Christie’s administration, including a decision to pay less into the state’s pension fund than a 2011 statute required, angering public unions and elected officials. But for the current fiscal year, both estimates are separated by $133 million, a fraction of the previous year’s difference. Differences in projections could matter because they can influence spending decisions in the budget process.

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