Senate Appropriations Committee Report
(all tables and graphics can be viewed online)
General Fund Surplus Shrinks
General Fund revenue collections for the month of January were below the estimate by $113.7 million. General Fund tax revenues were $120.2 million lower than the monthly estimate, but non-tax revenue was $6.5 million above the estimate. General Fund revenue collections thus far this fiscal year are $290 million ahead of estimate.
Final individual estimated personal income tax payments for the 2018 tax year, which were due January 15th, were $119.4 million below estimate for the month, making up the lion’s share of the monthly shortfall. It is too early to know for sure, but the weakness in this subset of PIT payments was likely a combination of there being unused overpayments resulting from last year’s rush to make significant state and local tax payments ahead of changes in federal tax law and a drop-off in the stock market at the end of the year.
January 2019 General Fund Revenue vs. Monthly Estimate:
Fiscal Year 2018-19 vs. the Official Revenue Estimate To-Date:
Fiscal Year 2018-19 vs. Fiscal Year 2017-18:
Motor License Fund:
Game Fund Review
With a majority of hunting seasons in Pennsylvania now concluded, it seems appropriate to take a look at the revenues generated to support the Game Fund (fund) and the work done by the Game Commission (commission). The main revenue categories include license fees paid by hunters, the sale of resources from game lands including oil and gas drilling leases and timber sales, the federal government via the Pittman-Robertson distributions, and fines and penalties.
The end of January signals the end of the most popular and highest revenue generating seasons of whitetail deer, bear and elk seasons, and a majority of the license revenue has been collected, giving the commission an estimate on how the fund’s financial picture will look for the year. An area of concern for the commission is the continuing decrease in revenue generated by the resident deer hunting license. While doe, archery and nonresident license revenues have remained relatively stable over the past few years, the same can’t be said for resident licenses, which continue to decline. One area that has helped stabilize the fund has been the rebound in drilling activity and the revenues generated from leases on commission land. Royalty revenues are on pace in fiscal year 2018 to again exceed prior year revenues.
Among the initiatives the commission undertakes, is communicating the importance of identifying and preventing the devastation brought by Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in our whitetail deer population. CWD has affected populations in 25 other states and three Canadian provinces and was detected in
Pennsylvania in 2012. With three disease management areas in the state the commission continues to test throughout the state, and attempt to manage where it exists.
The commission was fortunate enough to add 4,299 acres during the 2017-18 fiscal year to the already over 1.5 million acres under management.
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