While State revenue collections are up ever-so-slightly over last year, they are far below what Governor Chris Christie projected says Dr. David Rosen, the top budget analyst with the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS). He says halfway through Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 revenues are lagging a little over $705 million behind the Governor’s estimates.

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“Since the conclusion of FY 2012, revenues have missed the Executive’s targets in each of the first five months of FY 2013,” says Rosen. “OLS tracks 14 separate revenues in our monthly snapshot. Through November, each of these revenues is trailing both the Executive target and the required annual growth rate.”

Rosen says revenues have grown 0.2% for the first five months of this Fiscal Year, but they would need to grow by 11.9% over the remaining seven months in order to keep the budget in balance without cuts.

Senate Budget Committee chairman Paul Sarlo called Rosen to testify before his panel today to determine if spending cuts are needed now. State Treasurer Andrew Eristoff was also asked to testify, but had a scheduling conflict.

Republican State Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the budget committee says, “Today’s ‘special budget hearing’ was really the Trenton Democrats attempt to kick off their 2013 gubernatorial campaign against Governor Chris Christie. It was a blatant show of hypocrisy at the expense of New Jersey residents, whose money and resources should not be squandered on political games.”

In the past Christie has accused Rosen of being consistently wrong.