Muoio: N.J.’s surplus expected to top already-predicted $6.3B

Boom in housing sales, consistent sales tax help state bring in far more than anticipated

About those horrific budget projections?

On Monday, state Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio said they actually will be pretty good.

Helped by fees from the incredible surging home sales market as well as better than expected sales tax on consumer spending, Muoio told the Assembly Budget Committee good financial news is on the way.

The state, Muoio said, will exceed its planned $6.3 billion surplus by hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Treasury is confident that the overall revenue forecasts will increase by hundreds of millions of dollars due to the federally-induced surge in consumer spending,” she said.

“Our sales tax forecast, for example, is likely to rise by at least several hundred million in (fiscal year) 2021 alone. So, all in all, the revenue outlook for the remainder of the current fiscal year and going into (fiscal year 2022) is positive and improving.”

This is marked change from early projections.

The budget adopted in the fall assumed a $4.3 billion revenue shortfall — which led to the Legislature agreeing to borrow up to $9.9 billion. (Even at the time, some felt that amount would not be needed — or borrowed.)

As it turns out, it wasn’t needed at all.

In February, Gov. Phil Murphy raised revenue forecasts for the current fiscal year by more than $3 billion, to approximately $44.2 billion. Now, even that number appears low.