New Reports Indicate Brighter Revenue Future

April’s General Fund collections topped expectations by $99-million dollars, according to the Department of Revenue’s latest report.  It’s the state’s third straight month in the black, but fiscal year-to-date revenues are still running $288-million below estimate. 

On the same day as the monthly report from the administration, the Independent Fiscal Office released its initial revenue estimate.  “We think the year-end shortfall will be $300-million dollars,” says IFO Director Matt Knittel.  That’s a marked improvement over the $719-million dollar shortfall that Governor Tom Corbett projected when he made is budget address in February. 

“We are seeing additional economic strength moving forward… and we think a lot of that strength will carry forward into FY2012/13,” Knittel says.   His office will release its official revenue estimate in mid-June. 

 Senate Democrats are hailing the dual reports as reason to overhaul the governor’s proposed budget for the new fiscal year.  “There is now no question that there will be far more available dollars to restore key budget lines that support job creation, education, safety net programs and investments for the future,” says Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny). 

Governor Tom Corbett has previously expressed the desire to finalize budget plans once the May numbers are available.  We’ll hear his latest fiscal observations on next week’s “Ask the Governor.”