State’s revenue collections up

More than a year after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the state’s revenue collections are continuing to show improvement.

The commonwealth’s general fund collected $4.84 billion of revenue in March. That’s a $407.9 million (9.2%) increase compared to March 2020, according to a report from the Independent Fiscal Office.

The general fund, mainly sourced through personal, sales, and corporate taxes, is the predominant funding method for the state’s operations.

General fund collections were 6.2% above the monthly projection from the Independent Fiscal Office’s revised Official Estimate published in January 2021. Collections are $551.7 million (2%) above the estimate for fiscal-year-to-date.

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March’s overage was a result of greater than expected collections of personal income, corporate net income and inheritance tax.

Monthly personal income tax collections for March equaled $1.37 billion. That exceeded the estimate by 5.6%, mainly due to overages in withholding and quarterly payments. Fiscal-year-to-date collections are 1.4% above projection at a total of $11.21 billion.

The fiscal-year-to-date overage in quarterly payments are expected to be offset by lower annual payments due to small business owners taking advantage of nontaxable Paycheck Protection Program loans.

READ: Pennsylvania will receive $13B+

Corporate net income tax revenues up

Corporate net income tax for March totaled $460 million, 15% above the projection for the month. Final tax payments for 2020 are expected to be suppressed due to the change in Paycheck Protection Program loans to nontaxable.

A shortfall in non-motor vehicle tax collections offset by an overage in motor-vehicle collections resulted in Sales and use tax collections for March exceeding the estimate by $14.3 million. Fiscal year-to-date sales and use tax collection equal $9.28 billion, exceeding the estimate by 0.9%.

Other revenue sources including Inheritance, bank shares, cigarettes, realty transfers, and minor and repealed taxes all surpassed estimates for March. An expected $5.6 million was collected for gross receipts tax.

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