Senate Appropriations Committee Report
(all tables and graphics can be viewed online)
General Fund Revenues on Pace Heading into the Final Stretch
General Fund revenue collections for the month of May missed the estimate by $42.6 million; however, tax revenue receipts exceeded the monthly estimate by $20.9 million. A non-tax monthly revenue deficit of $63.5 million, mostly the result of a $59 million shortfall in unclaimed property revenue (i.e. Treasury escheats), is what drove the month’s negative result.
Total corporation tax revenues missed the monthly estimate by $27 million. The second quarterly estimated corporate net income tax payment for 2018 calendar year tax filers will be due in June, so corporation taxes will play an important role in determining the final FY 2017-18 General Fund revenue performance. General sales and use tax (SUT) (i.e. non-motor SUT) was above estimate by $8.9 million for the month and was 7% higher than May 2017. Likewise, personal income tax (PIT) collections were $7.5 million above estimate for the month and were 4.4% higher than PIT collections in May 2017. Together, personal income tax (42%) and sales and use tax (32%) make up nearly three-quarters of all General Fund tax revenue in a given fiscal year. Consequently, it is a positive sign to see that each of these tax types is experiencing strong year-over-year growth, which bodes well for General Fund revenues heading into a new fiscal year.
May General Fund Revenue vs. Estimate:
Fiscal Year 2017-18 vs. the Official Revenue Estimate To-Date:
Fiscal Year 2017-18 vs. Fiscal Year 2016-17:
Motor License Fund:
Sports Wagering a Safe Bet in Pennsylvania
On May 14, 2018, the United States Supreme Court found the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) to be unconstitutional (Murphy, et al. v. NCAA, et al.) With very limited exceptions, PASPA was the federal law that had prohibited states from allowing legalized sports wagering to take place within their borders. Pennsylvania’s Act 42 of 2017 made significant changes to the Commonwealth’s gaming law, including a provision that would allow sports wagering in the state. Act 42 specified the intent to authorize sports wagering when federal law is enacted or repealed or a Federal court decision is filed that permits a state to regulate sports wagering.
Under Act 42 of 2017, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (board) may authorize a slot machine licensee (i.e. casino) to conduct sports wagering and to operate a system of wagering associated with the conduct of sports wagering at the slot machine licensee’s licensed facility, certain temporary facilities for up to 24 months, a non-primary location associated with horse racing (i.e. OTB) or through an Internet-based system. The board certified the Murphy, et al. v. NCAA, et al. decision at its public meeting held on May 30, 2018. Publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin of the certification is expected to occur in the near future.
The board will draft temporary regulations to implement sports wagering according to Act 42, and it is expected to vote on those regulations at a series of public meetings over the summer. Initial temporary regulations that provide for definitions of the terms associated with sports wagering implementation, as well as those setting out the petition requirements for slot machine licensees seeking to offer sports wagering have already been approved. The board announced that it is accepting comments relative to temporary regulations from any interested entity or person, and any such comments should be submitted by mail or email no later than June 15, 2018.
Each slot machine licensee that is issued a certificate to conduct sports wagering must pay a one-time nonrefundable authorization fee in the amount of $10 million to be deposited into the General Fund. Daily gross sports wagering revenue will be taxed at 34% and also will be deposited into the General Fund. In addition, two percent of a sports wagering certificate holder’s daily gross sports wagering revenue shall be paid as a local share assessment to be used as grants for projects in the public interest in the Commonwealth.
Public School Building Construction and Reconstruction Advisory Committee Issues
On Wednesday, May 24, 2018, the Public School Building Construction and Reconstruction (PlanCon) Advisory
Committee concluded its work by issuing a report that identified four key areas in the Commonwealth’s school construction and renovation reimbursement program, known as PlanCon, where substantial revisions are critical. The committee’s recommendations based on public hearings and tours of school facilities, as well as materials submitted to the committee, are summarized as follows:
Administrative Process Recommendations:
High-Performance Building Standards Recommendations:
Maintenance, Repairs, and Modernization Project recommendations:
Reimbursement Formula Recommendations:
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