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State Tax and Revenue Collection Behind Projections

Two months into the new fiscal year, Pennsylvania’s revenue collections seem to be lagging just a little behind, with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s General Fund bringing in $3.7 billion— 0.1 percent below estimate.

In August, corporation tax, inheritance tax and realty transfer tax all fell below the state’s projections. Only sales, cigarette, alcohol and table game tax revenues were above estimates.

“Last August we were about 0.9 percent under estimate,” said Department of Revenue spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell. “We always strive to make the estimates as accurate as possible and get as close to them as we possibly can each month, but 0.1 percent this early in the fiscal year is certainly nothing to be concerned about.”

Sales tax receipts totaled $761.4 million in August, $21.5 million above projections.

Brassell said the August sales tax collections are delayed a month and more accurately reflect the July sales.

“All of our tax categories can be impacted by dates and timing of transfers,” she said. “We’re obviously glad to see an overage there, but it might be off-set next month; maybe there was an extra payment date or something in August.”

The $688.8 million in personal income tax collected last month also fell $5.5 million below expectations. While that shortfall is a potential indicator of slowed job growth, Brassell said people shouldn’t be alarmed.

“Obviously one month doesn’t make a trend,” she said, “and being so close to estimate this month, there’s nothing really jumping out at us in the numbers.

The Erie, PA native has been a fellow in the WESA news department since May 2013. Having earned a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Duquesne University, he is now pursuing an M.A. in multi-media management. Michael describes his career aspiration as "I want to do it all in journalism."
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