Gov. Wolf: April 2022 Revenues Highest Ever Collected, Money in Bank will Cover Historic Investments in Pennsylvanians
Harrisburg, PA (STL.News) Governor Tom Wolf announced that Pennsylvania’s strong fiscal standing continues to improve month after month, paving the way for investments that will lower costs for Pennsylvanians. Pennsylvania collected $6.5 billion in General Fund revenue in April, which was $1.8 billion, or 38.7 percent, over estimate, and the most tax revenue ever collected in a single month. Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $40.7 billion, which is $4.5 billion, or 12.4 percent, above estimate.
“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.”
“And all of our forecasting shows that we’re not just dealing with one strong year here – we’ve established a strong foundation that Pennsylvania can build on in the years to come. That’s not just my own claim, either – it’s backed up by data from nationally recognized financial forecasting firms.”
“Frankly, the most irresponsible thing we can do right now is hoard this money when we should use it to help lower costs for Pennsylvanians. I want to make a historic investment in education so local districts have the ability to lower property taxes, and reduce and reform the Corporate Net Income Tax to make Pennsylvania a hub for innovative businesses that will drive further economic growth. I also want to use our state’s federal American Rescue Plan dollars to put money in Pennsylvanians’ pockets right now.”
Over the past seven years, the Wolf Administration has righted Pennsylvania’s shaky finances through sound fiscal management. When Gov. Wolf took office, Pennsylvania was operating with a $2-3 billion budget deficit, and the Rainy Day Fund had fallen to a mere $231,800.
Today, the Rainy Day Fund contains a record $2.8 billion – more than 12,000 times what it was when Gov. Wolf took office – to protect Pennsylvania against future emergencies. Gov. Wolf is also expected to transition a multi-billion dollar surplus to the next administration – even if his 2022 budget plan is 100% funded.
The Governor’s plan to invest in lowering costs for Pennsylvanians is balanced based on recurring General Fund revenue and does not rely on one-time funding sources. Pennsylvania revenue collections have met or exceeded estimates for 15 months in a row. Over the past seven years, revenues have grown steadily by $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion a year, and forecasts from nationally recognized economic forecasting firms Moody’s Analytics and HIS Markit project continued, steady revenue growth for the commonwealth over the coming years.
If the governor’s proposed budget were implemented in its entirety, there would still be at least a $3.3 billion surplus at the end of Fiscal Year 2022-23. That surplus is on top of and entirely separate from the $2.87 billion that would remain in the state’s Rainy Day Fund and the $2.2 billion in American Rescue Plan funding that Pennsylvania must spend before 2024 or send back to the federal government.
“Despite what you may hear from fiscal fearmongers, Pennsylvania’s financial future has never been brighter,” said Gov. Wolf. “We have a lot of money to work with for the 2022-23 budget, and I want to use that to take some pressure off of Pennsylvania families. Times are tough right now, and while Pennsylvanians are hurting, the worst thing we can do with this money is nothing.”
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.