Pennsylvania tax revenues stronger than anticipated, $580 million above estimates

(The Middle Sq.) – Pennsylvania’s tax receipts have been robust for March 2022, with the Unbiased Fiscal Workplace revising its projections up by $580 million from its August estimate.

Gross sales taxes, private earnings taxes, and company internet earnings taxes drove the rise, indicating that the economic system is recovering from pandemic-related slowdowns. The labor drive participation fee and unemployment fee nonetheless haven’t returned to prepandemic ranges, nonetheless, based on the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

The Unbiased Fiscal Workplace’s estimate was nearer than the Pennsylvania Division of Income’s figures. The Division of Income underestimated collections by $659 million. The Basic Fund collections have been robust by the fiscal year-to-date, totaling $34.1 billion, $2.7 billion greater than the Division of Income anticipated.

The windfall is even higher than the remaining federal funds the state obtained from the American Rescue Plan Act; Republicans and Democrats stay at odds on what to do with the $1.7 billion of remaining federal cash.

For comparability, Pennsylvania generates $4.5 billion from the state fuel tax and motor license charges, and $2.7 billion of that covers roads and bridges. The stronger-than-anticipated tax revenues might shore up present packages (as state Republicans have argued for federal ARPA funds) or be used for brand spanking new spending packages (as state Democrats have argued).

It’s unclear how lengthy further tax revenues will proceed. Consumption taxes, reminiscent of gross sales taxes and different Basic Fund tax revenues, might contract from rising inflation and as pent-up demand from the pandemic ranges off.

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Because the Division of Income’s replace notes, the lion’s share of the tax revenues got here from gross sales tax, private earnings tax, and company tax. These will increase of 8%, 6.5%, and 18.6%, respectively, are unlikely to be a long-term development.