State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Once again, monthly revenues are below projections in PA

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Dec 2, 2016 7:04 PM
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Revenues missed the mark last month in Pennsylvania, a trend that has persisted for most of the fiscal year already. (Photo by AP)

(Harrisburg) -- The state government is on the receiving end of more bad financial news.

After some moderate growth in October, the commonwealth's November income took nearly a four percent hit, with general revenues coming in $79.5 million dollars lower than expected.

State Independent Fiscal Office Director Matthew Knittel said the weak revenues weren't that unexpected.

"The November report largely confirmed what we'd had been seeing for the other four months of the fiscal year," he said. "That is, general weakness across most of the revenue sources."

The Revenue Department notes in a statement that in October, they had actually been 1.6 percent above estimates.

Knittel said the state had been hoping that growth would continue.

"I would characterize November as slightly disappointing," he said. "Based on October, we were hoping for a little more of a pickup. But we really have to see another month here to see whether the trend is reversing itself or if it's just an outlier."

Knittel said a particular weakness was in the state's sales and use tax, which was more than $50 million below estimate.

The poor showing comes on top of Pennsylvania's significant structural deficit which, in the most recent estimates, is valued at nearly $2 billion in the next year.

One potential bright spot is that reports have shown fairly strong sales at the start of holiday shopping season.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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