Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf says the commonwealth not only has more money than expected in the General Fund and a fat Rainy Day Fund, but it’s important to spend that money to lower costs for residents.

The Democrat May 2 announced the fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections are 12.4% above estimate, totaling $40.7 billion and the Rainy Day Fund contains a record $2.87 billion.

PennDOT photo: Pa. Governor Tim Wolf
PennDOT photo: Pa. Governor Tim Wolf
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The Governor has planned a historic investment in public education and a corporate Net Income Tax cut.

In making the announcement on revenue totals, Governor Wolf said “Frankly, the most irresponsible thing we can do right now is hoard this money when we should use it to help lower costs for Pennsylvanians.” 

Among the proposals are education funding to allow local districts to lower property taxes and give businesses a tax break to drive further economic growth.

Wolf adds he wants to use Pennsylvania’s American Rescue Plan dollars for payments to residents.

Wolf says the state collected $6.5 billion in General Fund revenues in April.

Under the proposed budget, there would be $2.2 billion in American Rescue Plan funding that must be spent before 2024 or returned to the federal government.

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The May 2 statement from the Governor included this breakdown in revenue sources:

"Sales tax receipts totaled $1.2 billion for April, $120.7 million above estimate. Year-to-date sales tax collections total $11.5 billion, which is $888.5 million, or 8.4 percent, more than anticipated.

Personal income tax (PIT) revenue in April was $4.1 billion, $1.4 billion above estimate. This brings year-to-date PIT collections to $15.4 billion, which is $2.1 billion, or 15.4 percent, above estimate.

April corporation tax revenue of $676.1 million was $306.4 million above estimate. Year-to-date corporation tax collections total $5.8 billion, which is $1.1 billion, or 23.7 percent, above estimate.

Inheritance tax revenue for the month was $133.0 million, $22.0 million above estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $1.3 billion, which is $144.2 million, or 12.5 percent, above estimate.

Realty transfer tax revenue was $77.6 million for April, $25.9 million above estimate, bringing the fiscal-year total to $701.8 million, which is $140.0 million, or 24.9 percent, more than anticipated.

Other General Fund tax revenue, including cigarette, malt beverage, liquor and gaming taxes, totaled $39.8 million for the month, $13.8 million below estimate and bringing the year-to-date total to $1.4 billion, which is $19.7 million, or 1.4 percent, above estimate.

Non-tax revenue totaled $230.6 million for the month, $4.0 million below estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $4.6 billion, which is $122.3 million, or 2.7 percent, above estimate.

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $247.2 million for the month, $36.1 million below estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund – which include the commonly known gas and diesel taxes, as well as other license, fine and fee revenues – total $2.3 billion, which is $19.5 million, or 0.8 percent, above estimate."

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