03 December 2023- Governor Tom Wolf and the Department of Revenue announced that Pennsylvania collected $4.0 billion in General Fund revenue in December, which was $319.9 million, or 8.6 percent, more than anticipated. Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $19.7 billion, which is $503.1 million, or 2.6 percent, above estimate.
“Going into 2023, Pennsylvania is in a strong fiscal position,” said Gov. Wolf. “Year to date, we are 2.6 percent above our estimated revenue collections, which means we have $503.1 million in the bank above and beyond what we expected. That’s money that can be used to better support the people of Pennsylvania in the coming year, and I look forward to seeing what the new administration and the General Assembly will accomplish on behalf of Pennsylvanians.”
Over the past 8 years, the Wolf Administration has righted Pennsylvania’s shaky finances. When Gov. Wolf took office, Pennsylvania was operating with a $2-3 billion budget deficit, and the Rainy Day Fund was a meager $231,800.
As a result of Gov. Wolf’s leadership and commitment to fiscal responsibility, Pennsylvania ended the most recent fiscal year with $5.537 billion in the General Fund, and revenue collections for the 2022-23 fiscal year to date are 2.6 percent above estimate. Additionally, Gov. Wolf has invested more than $5 billion dollars in the Rainy Day Fund.
“My goal has always been to build a strong foundation for Pennsylvania, so that our government can invest in the things that make Pennsylvanians’ lives better. That’s why I’m so proud of the historic $3.7 billion dollar investment I’ve made in education over the past eight years. The strong fiscal foundation that my administration has built will empower the next administration and the General Assembly to continue making life-changing investments in the people of Pennsylvania in the years to come.”
“It was only a couple years ago during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic that we were facing a $3.2 billion shortfall at the close of the 2019-20 fiscal year,” Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said. “Fortunately, we are facing a much different situation today — and that is very much a testament to the strong fiscal management of Gov. Wolf. Pennsylvanians should be encouraged that we are on such solid financial footing as the Governor closes out his term.”
The majority of the surplus in December is attributable to personal income tax revenue that was deposited on the first day of the month, rather than on the last day of November, as initially expected. Ultimately, this one-day shift of revenue had a minimal impact on overall General Fund collections.
Sales tax receipts totaled $1.2 billion for December, $2.3 million below estimate. Year-to-date sales tax collections total $7.1 billion, which is $134.8 million, or 1.9 percent, more than anticipated.
Personal income tax (PIT) revenue in December was $1.4 billion, $204.9 million above estimate. This brings year-to-date PIT collections to $7.5 billion, which is $27.1 million, or 0.4 percent, above estimate.
December corporation tax revenue of $1.0 billion was $116.3 million above estimate. Year-to-date corporation tax collections total $2.7 billion, which is $328.7 million, or 13.6 percent, above estimate.
Inheritance tax revenue for the month was $138.0 million, $6.1 million above estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $725.7 million, which is $16.3 million, or 2.2 percent, below estimate.
Realty transfer tax revenue was $55.8 million for December, $23.3 million below estimate, bringing the fiscal-year total to $351.9 million, which is $26.7 million, or 7.1 percent, less than anticipated.
Other General Fund tax revenue, including cigarette, malt beverage, liquor and gaming taxes, totaled $174.2 million for the month, $5.1 million below estimate and bringing the year-to-date total to $939.6 million, which is $32.5 million, or 3.3 percent, below estimate.
Non-tax revenue totaled $55.5 million for the month, $23.3 million above estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $346.7 million, which is $88.0 million, or 34.0 percent, above estimate.
In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $203.0 million for the month, $8.2 million above 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 $1.4 billion, which is $25.0 million, or 1.8 percent, above estimate.