Read "State has surplus from taxes" in The Mercury.
My question is this: If the state collected $437 million more than it budgeted so far in the current fiscal year, why isn't anyone talking about returning the money to state taxpayers?
Don't you think taxpayers could use some of that money to help pay for gas or buy groceries or finishing paying for their winter heating bills?
And this is just the "surplus" from the current fiscal year. The state Legislature is sitting on hundreds of millions in "surplus" dollars kept from previous years.
Everyone is talking about an economic stimulus. How about returning the $437 million to the rightful owners?
Here's some highlights from the Pennsylvania Revenue Department's monthly recap of tax collections:
Pennsylvania collected $3.7 billion in General Fund revenue in April, $256.1 million, or 7.4 percent, more than anticipated.
Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $23.5 billion, which is $436.6 million, or 1.9 percent, above estimate.
Sales tax receipts totaled $729.5 million for April, which was $24.2 million below estimate. Sales tax collections year-to-date total $7.1 billion, which is $3.5 million above estimate.
Personal income tax (PIT) revenue in April was $1.9 billion, which was $182.1 million, or 10.3 percent, above estimate. Year-to-date PIT collections are at $9.2 billion, which is $264.6 million, or 3 percent, above estimate.
April corporation tax revenue of $652.3 million was $29.2 million above estimate. Year-to-date corporation tax collections total $4.8 billion, which is $125.3 million, or 2.7 percent, above estimate.
Other General Fund revenue figures for the month included $69.4 million in inheritance tax, which was $3.9 million above estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $669.5 million, which is $15.8 million above estimate.
Realty transfer tax was $31.3 million for April, bringing the total to $362 million for the year, which is $0.5 million less than anticipated.
Other General Fund revenue including the cigarette, malt beverage and liquor tax totaled $285.3 million for the month, $67.9 million above estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $1.4 billion, which is $27.9 million above estimate.
In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received
$188.6 million for the month, $18.1 million below estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund total $2.1 billion, which is $49.5 million, or 2.3 percent, below estimate.
The Gaming Fund received $50.7 million in unrestricted revenues for April. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund total $638.8 million. Gaming Fund receipts include taxes, fees and interest. Of the total for the month, $50.3 million was collected in state taxes for property tax relief, bringing the year-to-date total to $380.5 million.
Other gaming-related revenues collected for April included $3.3 million for the Local Share Assessment, for a total of $62.1 million for the year; $7.4 million for the Economic Development and Tourism Fund, for a year-to-date total of $55.9 million; and $17.8 million for the Race Horse Development Fund, bringing the total for the year to $134.3 million.