More grim news on the economic front: for the second consecutive month New Jersey's state government had revenues that fell more than $200 million short of its budget projections.
In November state revenues from taxes and fees were off by $201 million, according to Treasury figures released this afternoon.
That puts the total shortfall at $459 million just five months into the budget that took effect July 1. Last month the Corzine administration predicted a $1.2 billion hole over the length of the budget. With the floundering economy, the problem could get worse.
"November's shortfall raises additional concerns about (fiscal year) '09," Treasurer David Rousseau said in a statement. "We will look more closely at the current year problem once we get a report on revenues from December, which is one of our heaviest collection months."
Rousseau chalked up the problems to the continuing economic spiral that has gripped the nation.
The impacts on individuals can be seen through some of the figures. Businesses paid 26.5 percent less taxes than predicted in November and sales taxes were off by 11 percent, reflecting smaller profits and less shopping. In a sign of a bad market for buying and selling homes, realty transfer taxes fell 29.5 percent short of what was budgeted.
People are even smoking and drinking less. Taxes on tobacco products' wholesale sales are down 13.5 percent for the year and alcoholic beverage taxes are off by 2.5 percent.