HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania collected $6.5 billion in General Fund revenue in April, which was $1.8 billion, or 38.7 percent, overestimate, and the most tax revenue ever collected in a single month.
According to Governor Tom Wolf’s office, fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $40.7 billion, which is $4.5 billion, or 12.4 percent, above estimate.
State Budget Secretary Gregory Thall says the commonwealth is looking at an ending balance of $9 billion.
Thall says that number doesn’t include the $2.87 billion in the “rainy day fund” and the $2.2 billion in American Rescue Plan money still available.
The announcement comes as state lawmakers prepare to clash over the cash in the budget.
“After this month’s collections, Pennsylvania revenues are so far ahead of estimate that we already have the money in the bank to pay for the historic investment I want to make in K-12 education, as well as the Corporate Net Income Tax cut and reforms I have proposed to bolster Pennsylvania businesses,” said Gov. Wolf. “My administration has done a lot of work to get the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in a good place financially. It has taken a lot of hard work and a lot of years, but our state government is frankly swimming in cash right now and we need to reinvest it in things that will make Pennsylvanians’ lives better.”
Jason Gottesman, the State House Republican Caucus Spokesperson, says federal stimulus is painting a picture that the state economy is better than some are making it out to be, calling it a “fake way to grow the economy” that isn’t “normal economic growth.”
Gottesman says Republicans want to use the money to plan for the future “in case the bottom drops out of the economy, we’re not going back to taxpayers to pay more or we’re looking at having to make cuts to government services.”
President Pro Tempore of the Senate Jake Corman, who is also running for Governor, says if lawmakers remain fiscally responsible then the commonwealth should remain in a “good position moving forward.”
“If we spend like a bunch of drunken sailors like Tom Wolf has proposed, then we’re not gonna be in good shape for next year,” said Corman.
Highlights of the Governor’s nearly 900-page proposal include billions in education funding, changes to the cash bail system, raising the state minimum wage and teacher minimum wage, and funding for mental health care.
See below for a further breakdown of April revenue collections:
- Sales tax receipts totaled $1.2 billion for April, $120.7 million above estimate. Year-to-date sales tax collections total $11.5 billion, which is $888.5 million, or 8.4 percent, more than anticipated.
- Personal income tax (PIT) revenue in April was $4.1 billion, $1.4 billion above estimate. This brings year-to-date PIT collections to $15.4 billion, which is $2.1 billion, or 15.4 percent, above estimate.
- April corporation tax revenue of $676.1 million was $306.4 million above estimate. Year-to-date corporation tax collections total $5.8 billion, which is $1.1 billion, or 23.7 percent, above estimate.
- Inheritance tax revenue for the month was $133.0 million, $22.0 million above estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $1.3 billion, which is $144.2 million, or 12.5 percent, above estimate.
- Realty transfer tax revenue was $77.6 million for April, $25.9 million above estimate, bringing the fiscal-year total to $701.8 million, which is $140.0 million, or 24.9 percent, more than anticipated.
- Other General Fund tax revenue, including cigarette, malt beverage, liquor and gaming taxes, totaled $39.8 million for the month, $13.8 million below estimate and bringing the year-to-date total to $1.4 billion, which is $19.7 million, or 1.4 percent, above estimate.
- Non-tax revenue totaled $230.6 million for the month, $4.0 million below estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $4.6 billion, which is $122.3 million, or 2.7 percent, above estimate.
In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $247.2 million for the month, $36.1 million below estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund – which include the commonly known gas and diesel taxes, as well as other license, fine and fee revenues – total $2.3 billion, which is $19.5 million, or 0.8 percent, above estimate.