Headline Harrisburg - June 17, 2011
6/17/2011

Budget UpdateThe state Senate is still considering House Bill 1485, the budget legislation sent to them three weeks ago.

Department of Revenue:
Not All Excess Revenue is Sustainable

Pennsylvania's Revenue Secretary, Dan Meuser, explains in a letter to the editor that the state's increased revenue collections are the result of one-time payments and $260 million of the Commonwealth's current excess revenue will not be available next year.

The Revenue Secretary explains that $260 million in one-time payments have helped increase revenue collections due to changes in Pennsylvania tax regulations.

This one-time boost in revenue collections are a good sign that Pennsylvania businesses are doing better, but it also means that we must be careful not to base a 2011-2012 fiscal year budget on revenues that will not be available next year.


Revenue Secretary Meuser's Letter to the Editor

The Patriot-News June 10, 2011

Having read The Patriot-News' recent characterization of tax collections as a budget "surplus," I'm compelled to remind readers that while we're encouraged that tax revenues are nearly $540 million over estimate through May, it's misguided to talk in terms of surplus when we're facing a $4.2 billion deficit.

The reality is that nearly half of that $540 million, $260 million in one-time payments, is revenue that won't likely recur next year. Additionally, accelerated sales tax payments this fiscal year will provide one-time revenues that won't happen next year, and bonus depreciation further reduces next year's budgetary baseline. All of that is to say that next year's budget estimates won't vary much from what we've already forecast because we can't count on money that might not be collected.

Real downside risk and volatility continue to plague the economy's subdued recovery. Additionally, uncertainty with regard to unemployment, oil prices, inflation, the stock market, interest rates, the housing market and consumer confidence make a $27.3 billion budget the responsible revenue projection.

Simply put, this administration will not build a budget on anything but reality. To do so would risk falling into the same trap the federal stimulus led us into: spending one-time money as if it would always be there.

As the governor campaigned and continues to reinforce throughout budget negotiations, Pennsylvania does not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.

DAN MEUSER

Secretary
PA Department of Revenue

My Legislation in the SpotlightHouse Bill 807, my bill to tighten requirements for the use of biofuels in Pennsylvania, is in the hands of the state Senate after being passed this week by the House.

Get details
here.

Also, House Bill 1355, my legislation designating the westbound bridge carrying Interstate 90 over Six Mile Creek in Harborcreek Township as the Jarrid L. King Memorial Bridge, will be voted on the House floor next week.

Attention HuntersAntlerless deer licenses go on sale early (Monday, July 11) for the second consecutive year.

To see how many licenses will be available for sale in your particular area, please visit my web site and click on “Antlerless Deer Licenses.”

The (Erie) Sound of MusicOn Wednesday, The Young People's Chorus of Erie traveled to perform at the State Capitol. The Young People's traveling Chorus is comprised of 36 dedicated, middle and high school students throughout Erie County.

 

 

 

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