PA Revenue Collections Down in December

By Kim Jarrett

Revenue collections were about 3.1 percent less than anticipated in December, according to a news release from Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell, although the state is still ahead of projections for the fiscal year.

Collections were $2.9 billion in the state’s general fund, about $91.5 million less than projected.

Sales tax receipts, corporate tax collections, inheritance taxes and realty transfer tax revenues all came in below projections. Personal tax income for December was $18.9 million above estimates at $1 billion. Year-to-date collections for personal taxes are at $6.2 billion, about 1.5 percent above projections.

• Sales tax receipts ae up 0.7 percent year-to-date at $5.8 billion.

• Corporate tax revenues are at $1.7 billion for the year, down 7.1 percent below projects.

• While inheritance tax collections were down by $7.7 million for December, they are up year-to-date by 2.6 percent for a total of $555.7 million.

• Realty tax transfer revenue was down one percent year-to-date and about $28 million below the projected $281 million estimated.

Revenue from cigarette, malt beverage, liquor and gaming taxes were $1.9 million below estimates for the month at $183.2 million. Collections year-to-date are down 0.4 percent at $930.6 million.

Non-tax revenues were down 28.4 percent for the year, or $57.8 million.

The Motor License Fund came in above estimates for December but remained down for the year. The state collected $206.3 million in December, which consist of gas, diesel and license fine and fee revenues. Year-to-date collections are $14 billion, about $5.8 million below projections.

The state’s Independent Fiscal Office noted a variety of trends affecting Pennsylvania revenue, including that personal income growth had slowed to its lowest rate since the fourth quarter of 2017.

“The Pennsylvania unemployment rate ticked upward again in November due to increased labor force participation, while the net job gains held steady,” the IFO noted. “For the fourth consecutive month, Pennsylvania retail sales continued to display unusually strong growth.”