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Pa. ends 2017-18 with $22M surplus

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After passing a budget ahead of the June 30 deadline for the 2018-19 fiscal year, state lawmakers and the governor have another reason to celebrate this week: A budget surplus.

The state Department of Revenue on Monday said the commonwealth is projected to make a $22 million deposit into its reserve fund for the 2017-18 fiscal year, pending a final revenue deposit and year-end adjustments.

Pennsylvania ended the fiscal year June 30 with $34.6 billion in general fund collections, more than 9 percent higher than the previous year. Both sales tax and personal income tax, the two largest revenue buckets in the budget, came in ahead of estimates last year, according to revenue officials.

Sales tax collections totaled $10.4 billion, which was about $40.5 million above estimates. Personal income tax revenue ended the year at $13.4 billion, which was $94.2 million above estimate.

Meanwhile, corporate tax revenue totaled $4.9 billion, or $220.3 million below estimate, according to revenue officials.

On June 22, Gov. Tom Wolf signed the new budget, a $32.7 billion spending plan. The budget does not raise any broad-based taxes. However, it also doesn't have a severance tax on natural gas drilling or a higher minimum wage, both items Wolf pushed for but couldn't get out of the Republican-controlled General Assembly.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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Dave July 5, 2018 2:22 pm

Thanks to President Trumps tax reform bill. It increased revenue, building, commerce and allowed for business expansion. This never would have happed without President Trumps deregulation and tax reform. Vote Republican in November for peace, prosperity and safe borders.

vince July 5, 2018 1:34 pm

Although I am delighted to see a surplus of any size going into the Rainy Day Fund, don't forget that major components of that were the equity loan on the Farm Show Complex and the borrowing from future payments to Pennsylvania from the Tobacco Master Settlement. Loans must be paid back and future generations will be repaying the one-time fixes for the 2017-18 fiscal year.