City revenues continue to show modest growth

City tax revenues are continuing to show modest growth, slightly exceeding the official estimates and putting Philadelphia on track to show a small surplus at the end of its current budget year on June 30, according to the most recent report from PICA, the state agency monitoring city finances.

The city’s general fund collected $270 million in March, $28 million more than it collected in March 2012, an 11.7 percent increase. Through the first nine months of the fiscal year, collections totaled $1,877 million, a 6.1 percent increase over the amounts collected in fiscal 2012.  The growth figure built into the current city budget is 3.8 percent, PICA said.

Among the city’s specific taxes, wage and earnings growth was 3.9 percent higher in March 2013 than in March a year ago, and revenues for the first nine months of the year were up 4.2 percent from the year earlier. Real estate tax collections for the nine-month period are up 8.5 percent from the same year-ago period, and sales tax collections for the nine-month period were up 3.0 percent.

Of all the city’s revenue sources, the only underperformer is the amusement tax --­ a 5 percent charge tacked onto the price of tickets to movies, concerts, baseball games and other athletic contests. For the first nine months of the fiscal year, amusement taxes totaled $21.1 million, down 3.9 percent from a year ago. Blame the Eagles, the Phillies, the Flyers and the 76ers.

Click here for's politics page.