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Author: Tony Phyrillas
Date:  June 1, 2009

Topic category:  Other/General

Rendell keeps digging deeper hole

Pennsylvania has run up a $2.8 billion budget deficit so far this year but Gov. Ed Rendell wants to increase state spending for next year.

With one month to go in the current fiscal year, Pennsylvania's General Fund budget is $2.8 billion in the red.

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue released the May tax revenue numbers today and the state's bottom line is not looking so good.

Pennsylvania collected $1.6 billion in General Fund revenue in May, which was $287.5 million, or 15.1 percent, less than anticipated, according to Revenue Secretary Stephen H. Stetler. Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $23.3 billion, which is $2.8 billion, or 10.9 percent, below estimate, Stetler reported.

Gov. Ed Rendell, who signed the deficit budget last July knowing it would never come close to balancing, now projects a deficit of $3.2 billion by the end of the current fiscal year on June 30.

Here's the blow-by-blow breakdown from the Revenue Department:

Sales tax receipts totaled $607.4 million for May, $106.4 million below estimate. Sales tax collections, year-to-date, total $7.5 billion, which is $527.7 million, or 6.6 percent, less than anticipated.

Personal income tax (PIT) revenue in May was $721.4 million, $55.7 million below estimate. This brings year-to-date PIT collections to $9.4 billion, which is $1.1 billion, or 10.4 percent, below estimate.

May corporation tax revenue of $81.6 million was $38.8 million below estimate. Year-to-date corporation tax collections total $4.4 billion, which is $531.4 million, or 10.7 percent, below estimate.

Other General Fund revenue figures for the month included $65.3 million in inheritance tax, $10.8 million below estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $704.5 million, which is $94.4 million below estimate.

Realty transfer tax was $18.6 million for May, $12.2 million below estimate, bringing the total to $267.3 million for the year, which is $105.2 million less than anticipated.

Other General Fund tax revenue including cigarette, malt beverage and liquor taxes totaled $83.3 million for the month, $10.4 million below estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $958.2 million, which is $21.2 million below estimate.

Tony Phyrillas
http://tonyphyrillas.blogspot.com (Columnist)

Biography - Tony Phyrillas

Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (www.pottsmerc.com), his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. BlogNetNews.com ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas

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