State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Sunny revenue reports don't change big picture, says IFO

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Feb 3, 2015 6:35 PM
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Lower gasoline prices and stronger consumer confidence are part of the reason Pennsylvania is ahead of estimates for revenue collections.

The state's Independent Fiscal Office says strong hauls in sales tax and corporate net income tax are putting the commonwealth $418 million ahead of estimates last June.

"It's good news," said IFO Director Matthew Knittel. "The economy is starting to pick up a little steam and we're starting to see it in the tax revenues."

But the bigger picture for the commonwealth remains the same.

"It's still the case that we think next fiscal year the state will be faced with a significant budget deficit," said Knittel.

The IFO's projected $1.85 billion shortfall for next fiscal year hasn't been revised. Knittel said revenue gains have been offset by unexpected losses, like oil and gas land leases and casino licensing fees that haven't materialized. Moreover, state spending is on track to increase just to maintain services.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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Comments: 1

  • vince phillips img 2015-02-09 12:44

    No one has said that next year won't be difficult but the news here is for this fiscal year when the IFO said in November we'd be short by $171 million. Now, we have more revenues coming in than expected. To me, the question is whether some of these pleasantly unanticipated monies go put into the depleted Rainy Day Fund or must these monies be used for this year's programs?

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