The 2 big Pa. budget numbers to pay attention to this week | Thursday Morning Coffee
2021-22 tax collections came in $5.6B ahead of estimates. Why that matters
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
Pay attention to these two numbers as the Republican-controlled General Assembly and the Democratic Wolf administration put the finishing touches on the state budget this week:
$48.1 billion and $5.6 billion.
The former is how much the commonwealth collected in tax revenues during the fiscal year that ended on June 30, according to newly released state Revenue Department data. The latter is amount of revenue that came in above the state’s original projections (13.2 percent more, all told).
They matter because they’re important bookends on the discussions on the spending plan that’s now a week late — the state was supposed to have an enacted budget in place by midnight last Thursday.
The 2022-23 budget year started at 12:01 a.m. on July 1 — the same day that the Revenue Department dropped the year-end tax collection numbers.
Gov. Tom Wolf and his Democratic allies in the General Assembly have spent weeks arguing that a healthy budget surplus, coupled with unspent federal pandemic relief money, will give the state the fiscal cushion it needs to increase spending on public schools and other programs benefiting Pennsylvania families.
As the two sides have struggled to get to yes, Republicans, as is their custom, have sounded a more cautionary note, arguing for what they view as a more prudent stewardship of all that cash.
We’ve yet to see the numbers for the 2022-23 fiscal blueprint. But as WITF-FM reports, majority House Republicans have said the state could see a $3.5 billion spending hike, much of it underwritten by that more than $2 billion in federal relief money. As WITF-FM notes, Wolf has called for spending $1.9 billion of the relief money.
For the trainspotters among you, here are the highlights of how that $48.1 billion in collections breaks down.
Sales Tax: The state took in $1.2 billion in sales tax revenue in June, which was $95.6 million above estimate. Year-to-date collections totaled $13.9 billion, which was $1.1 billion, or 8.7 percent above estimates, according to the Revenue Department.
Personal Income Tax: PIT revenues totaled $1.6 billion in June, or $179.8 million above estimates, according to the Revenue Department. Year-to-date collections were $18.1 billion, which was $2.4 billion, or 14.9 percent, above estimates.
Corporate Tax: The state took in $972 million in corporate taxes in June, or $406 million above projections. Year-to-date collections totaled $7.3 billion, which was $1.7 billion, or 29.2 percent, above estimate, according to the Revenue Department.
Inheritance Tax: The state collected $121.6 million in inheritance tax revenue in June, which was $13.2 million above estimate, bringing the fiscal-year total to $1.6 billion, which was $173 million, or 12.6 percent, above estimate, according to the Revenue Department.
Realty Transfer Tax: The state took in $76 million in realty transfer tax revenue in June, which was $10.3 million above estimates. The year-to-date total was $847.1 million, which was $164.2 million, or 24 percent more than anticipated, the Revenue Department said.
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Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:
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What Goes On
The House comes in at 11 a.m. today. The Senate reconvenes at 9 am.
As of this writing, Gov. Tom Wolf has no public schedule today..
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John L. Micek