Though Pennsylvania collected $4.2 billion in revenues in March, that number was $69.4 million, or 1.6 percent, below what was projected.
Despite last month's shortfall, the PA Department of Revenue says that from July through March collections totaled $20.3 billion, which is $35.5 million, or 0.2 percent, above estimate.
“We use an economic forecasting company to give us the economic data and help us predict what might be coming,” said department spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell, “and then we take the information provided in that economic analysis and do some modeling based on historic tax collections and any anticipated changes to tax law, any significant changes we know we’ll see in the next fiscal year, and that’s how we arrive at our estimates.”
Sales taxes totaled $677.7 million for March, $51.3 million below estimates; and for the fiscal year to date — $6.6 billion, which is $244.5 million, or 3.6 percent, less than anticipated.
Brassell says there are a few reasons why the numbers could be down.
“Expiration of the Payroll Tax Cut, delayed federal refunds in February as a result of the delayed federal tax filing season and possibly seasonal effects of the colder winter," she said. "But ultimately, you know March is a big collection month for the year, but April revenues will give us a better idea of the final surplus or deficit for the fiscal year.”