Pennsylvania's revenue collections are coming in stronger than expected and could provide relief going into the 2011-2012 fiscal year, Gov. Ed Rendell said Monday.
Citing Department of Revenue figures from July 1 through Dec. 1 that are $191 million above budget estimates -- and more than 15 percent the revenues through the same period in 2009 -- Rendell said the state could end the year with a $125 million cushion. That includes filling a hole of more than $60 million in the 20110-2011 budget that opened when the state legislature declined to pass a tax on Marcellus Shale drilling, Rendell said.
The extra cash bodes well for the state's economy -- revenues failed to meet estimates for 23 months in a row before June 2010. And it would only make a small dent in the estimated $4 billion budget gap faced by the state in 2011-2012 due to the expiration of stimulus funding on July 1.
Rendell said every major category of tax revenues are up from the period ending Dec. 1, 2009, including corporate (8.1%), sales (4.9 %) and personal income (12.2%). The governor said the personal income tax increase may not hold up through the year due to fluctuations in collections.