(The Center Square) – The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue reported this week that the state collected less in taxes, fees and other income in January than had been expected.
The state took in $2.7 billion in general fund revenue in January – $162.4 million, or 5.8 percent, less than anticipated.
That is $4 million less than the $3.1 billion collected in January 2020, which exceeded estimates by $83.6 million.
Fiscal year-to-date general fund collections totaled $21.2 billion, $307.4 million, or 1.5 percent, above estimate.
“Collections in Corporate Net Income Tax and Sales and Use Tax are both higher in January, 2021, than the prior January,” said Jeffrey Johnson, director of communications for the department. “The decline is primarily from the personal income tax fund (PIT).”
He cited processing delays for unusually increased paper check payments and the four-day tax payment deposit schedule compared to the five day schedule in January, 2020.
PIT tax revenue for January was $1.1 billion, $271.9 million below estimate bringing fiscal year-to-date collections to $8.5 billion; $235.9 million, or 2.7 percent, below estimate.
“The Department of Revenue is still working to scan and deposit many personal income tax paper check payments that were received in January,” he said. “Once this backlog is addressed, we believe there will be minimal impact on overall revenue collections.”
Johnson added last year’s casino closures and overall decreased business activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the commonwealth ending fiscal 2019-20 about $3.2 billion below estimated collections. Those events would impact last month’s revenues as well.
The Motor License Fund revenue – which includes gas and diesel taxes, other license, fine and fee revenues – totaled $197.2 million, $10.5 million below expectations. Fiscal year-to-date totaled $1.6 billion, $16.3 million, or 1.0 percent below expectations.
Other general fund tax revenue, which includes cigarette, liquor, gaming and malt beverage taxes were $0.6 million below expectations at $112.5 million, which brought the total year-to-date total to $1.1 billion; $19.5 million, or 1.8 percent, above estimate.
Funds that came in above expectations include the realty transfer tax at $54.4 million – $15.5 million higher than expected. This pushed the fiscal year total to $371.3 million; $34.7 million, or 10.3 percent, higher than expected.
Inheritance tax revenue also increased $14.8 million above estimate at $101.6 million. Year-to-date total is $706.6 million, $291 million, or 4.3 percent, higher than estimated.
Corporation tax revenue was $61.3 million higher than expected at $186.3 million with fiscal year collections totaling $2.4 billion, $371.7 million, or 18.7 percent above estimate.
Non-tax revenue which includes liquor store profits, licenses and fees and other miscellaneous revenue, totaled $26.3 million coming in $8.8 million above expectations and the year-to-date total to $691.6 million, $24.1 million or 3.6 percent, above estimate.
Sales tax receipts came in $9.9 million above expectations at $1.1 billion with year-to-date collections totaling $7.5 billion, $64.3 million more than estimated, or 0.9 percent higher.
Collections in Corporate Net Income Tax and Sales and Use Tax are both higher this year than in January 2021, he said.