Senator Pat Browne E-Newsletter

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General Fund Nearly $900 Million Over Estimate

General Fund revenue collections for the month of June were above estimate by $69.8 million, or 2.3%, bringing total General Fund revenue collections for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019 to $34.9 billion, which is $883.1 million, or 2.6%, higher than the estimate for the year.  Tax revenue collections for Fiscal Year 2018-19 grew by 6.4% over last year.  Fiscal Year 2018-19 tax revenue growth of 6.4% is the highest since fiscal year 2005-06.

June General Fund Revenue vs. Estimate:

  • General Fund revenue collections of $3.08 billion were above the monthly estimate by $69.8 million, or 2.3%.
  • General Fund tax revenues were over estimate by $67.5 million, or 2.2%.
  • Corporation taxes were $39.9 million, or 7.3%, above the estimate.
  • Sales and use tax (SUT) collections beat the estimate by $26.4 million, or 2.8%, for the month.
  • Personal income tax (PIT) collections were ahead of estimate by $4.2 million, or 0.3%.
  • Non-tax revenues beat the estimate by $2.3 million. 

Fiscal Year 2018-19 vs. the Official Revenue Estimate:

  • Total General Fund revenues were $883.1 million, or 2.6%, above the Official Revenue Estimate.
  • General Fund tax revenue was $839.1 million, or 2.5%, more than the estimate.
  • Corporation taxes were $630.5 million, or 12.9%, higher than the estimate.
  • Sales and use taxes were $347 million, or 3.2%, above the estimate.
    • General SUT collections were $258.4 million, or 2.8%, above estimate.
    • SUT collections on motor vehicle sales were $88.6 million, or 6.4%, above estimate.
  • Personal income tax collections missed the estimate by $78.6 million, or 0.6%.
    • Withheld PIT was $85.9 million, or 0.8%, below the estimate.
    • Non-withheld PIT (annual & estimated payments) was $7.3 million, or 0.2%, ahead of estimate.
  • Non-tax revenues were $44 million, or 5.8%, above estimate. 

Fiscal Year 2018-19 vs. Fiscal Year 2017-18:

  • Total General Fund revenues were $290.9 million, or 0.8%, higher than last year even though FY 2017-18 revenue collections included tobacco revenue bonds and other fund transfers.
  • General Fund tax revenue was $2.05 billion, or 6.4%, higher than last year.
  • Corporation taxes were $622.1 million, or 12.7%, higher than FY 2017-18.
  • Sales and use tax collections were $718.3 million, or 6.9%, higher.
  • Personal income tax collections exceeded last year’s collections by $696.6 million, or 5.2%.
  • Non-tax revenues were $1.76 billion less than last fiscal year because of tobacco revenue bonds and other fund transfers received in FY 2017-18. 

Motor License Fund:

  • Motor License Fund revenues were below estimate by $57.9 million, or 2%, for Fiscal Year 2018-19.
  • Motor License Fund revenues were $99.2 million, or 3.4%, less than last fiscal year.

FY 2019-20 General Fund Budget Enacted

On Friday, June 28, Governor Wolf signed into law the Commonwealth budget for Fiscal Year 2019-20.  The FY 2019-20 budget was balanced without the need for any new tax increases and controlled spending with an increase of only 1.8% over the prior year.  Significantly, FY 2018-19 ended with a budget surplus of more than $300 million.  To continue on the path of fiscal discipline that the General Assembly has undertaken over the past years, the FY 2019-20 budget    dedicates the entire surplus to the Commonwealth’s Rainy Day Fund.  Even though FY 2018-19 ended with a surplus and projected revenue growth, more work still must be done to better align the Commonwealth’s revenues and spending.  Committing the FY 2018-19 budgetary surplus to the Rainy Day Fund is an important step in the right direction.

The FY 2019-20 budget contains strategic investments in these and many other areas:

Education

  • Basic Education (K-12) receives a $160 million increase.
  • Pre-K Counts and Head Start are increased by $30 million.
  • Special Education receives a $50 million increase.
  • Funding for a 2% increase for most higher education institutions and targeted investments of a combined $8 million to the Pennsylvania College of Technology and Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology.
  • The FY 2019-20 budget continues to build upon last year’s historic investment into school safety with $60 million in funding, $15 million more than Governor Wolf proposed.

 Human Services

  • $15 million for community-based services to transition 100 individuals on the emergency waiting list into the Consolidated Waiver and 765 individuals into the Community Living Waiver.
  • Funding for a 2% rate increase for home care and personal care workers.
  • Provides $5 million to expand evidence-based home visiting services for an additional 800 families.

Agriculture

In addition to significant increases from last fiscal year, new programs were established in the FY 2019-20 budget:

  • Agriculture Business & Workforce Investment receives $4.5 million.
  • The Agriculture Preparedness and Response appropriation, which includes funding for the Spotted Lanternfly Program, receives $4 million.

Community & Economic Development

  • Nearly a 15% increase to support Infrastructure Technical Assistance.
  • The Pennsylvania First Program (PA First) receives an increase of $17 million.
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