The state of Connecticut has projected a surplus of $1.3 billion for the end of the 2023 fiscal year, according to a recent press release from the Office of the State Comptroller Sean Scanlon.
The office’s press secretary, Madi Csejka, says the anticipated surplus signifies Connecticut’s ability to maintain a responsible budget.
“While in simple terms a surplus means an excess of revenue, what [it] also means is that Connecticut has found a way to budget responsibly and live within our means,” Csejka wrote in an email.
Csejka also said predicted projections such as the surplus amount are subject to change until June 30, the end of the current fiscal year.
“At the Office of the State Comptroller, we make monthly projections for the end of the fiscal year, [which] will come June 30, 2023,” she added. “Things can, and likely will, change.”
A report from the state’s Office of Policy and Management and the Office of Fiscal Analysis demonstrates an increase in revenue projections associated with withholding and corporate tax receipts, as stated in the press release.
In an announcement from Wednesday, Feb. 1, Comptroller Scanlon emphasized that Connecticut’s continuation of “fiscal safeguards and careful budgeting” was why the state was able to “reverse years of budget deficits.”
The funds from the $1.3 billion surplus projection will be made toward pension funds, Scanlon announced. He also said the state’s current “fiscal discipline measures” have allowed Connecticut to observe a budget surplus for the fifth year in a row.
“…While the effects of the pandemic and inflation can still be felt, I am optimistic to see that we are on the path to continue making historic payments towards our pension funds that will save future generations millions,” Scanlon said. “This is not the time to disregard the fiscal discipline measures that have put us on track to have a fifth consecutive budget surplus; instead, I urge the legislature to reinforce them.”
According to Csejka, the “fiscal guardrails” referenced by Scanlon in his press release refer to limitations on the state’s expenditures and certain amounts to be deposited into the state’s Budget Reserve Fund.
“The fiscal guardrails we have instituted…help to limit the state’s expenditures and require that, once revenues pass a certain threshold, we deposit into our Budget Reserve Fund (aka “Rainy Day Fund”) and make payments towards our pension liabilities,” Csejka added.
Csejka says that the projected surplus is important to Connecticut residents as it indicates more money will be added to elements such as pension debt, tax cuts and expansion of public services.
“[The surplus] means we are able to put more money towards things like paying down pension debt, instituting tax cuts for working families, and expanding public services — all without having to saddle future generations with debt,” Csejka said.
The alternative to any surplus would be a deficit, and in that case the result would likely be “raised taxes to increase revenue,” according to Csejka.
“…Having a surplus — especially for the fifth consecutive year — is definitely good for the state of Connecticut, its residents, and its businesses,” Csejka added.