The budget bills are finally passed, and all the numbers have been crunched. So where does the state expect General Fund revenue collections to be at the end of the next fiscal year? Not too far from where they are today.
General Fund revenue collections are projected to grow very little in the 2013-14 fiscal year, according to official estimates from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Tax revenue is projected to have the smallest rate of growth since the 2009-10 fiscal year — driven in part by years of corporate tax cuts. Low revenue growth likely means the commonwealth will be treading water in the coming year, with General Fund spending barely matching the inflation-adjusted buying power of the 2012-13 budget. With pension obligations growing at a faster rate than inflation, this revenue outlook leaves fewer dollars for Pennsylvania classrooms, health care, and other critical services.
General Fund revenue collections in 2013-14 are projected to be $29.1 billion, about $469 million, or 1.6%, more than in 2012-13. This projected revenue growth is less than the commonwealth recorded in 2012-13 but better than receipts in either 2010-11 or 2011-12.
The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center will be releasing a full analysis of the 2013-14 revenue estimates next week. For now, here is a chart showing projected growth in revenue collections compared to actual growth during the last three fiscal years.