Some New Yorkers will have to wait a few extra weeks to get their state income tax refund checks.
Gov. Paterson is delaying tax refunds by about two weeks to make sure the state has enough cash to get through the vash crunch that comes every March.
Refund checks were last sent out on March 12, and about $500 million is being delayed until the next batch is issued on April 1.
About 1.35 million New Yorkers have already received their income tax refunds, but those who filed between late February and early March will have to wait about six weeks, rather than the typical three to four weeks. The average refund is about $1,000.
"We know that's an inconvenience to people," budget director Robert Megna said Tuesday. "We didn't want to do it, but because we were put in this cash flow position we had to do it."
Paterson reduced the cap placed on the amount of tax refunds the state pays in the first three months from $1.75 billion to $1.25 billion.
By halting payments until April 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year, the state can avoid paying out about $500 million immediately.
Those who file from now on are not expected to be affected and should get their checks in about a month.