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REVENUE DEPARTMENT RELEASES MONTHLY COLLECTION DATA

 REVENUE DEPARTMENT RELEASES MONTHLY COLLECTION DATA
 HARRISBURG, Pa., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania collected


$2.16 billion for its General Fund in March which was $143.8 million, or 6.2 percent, below projections, Budget Secretary Michael H. Hershock and Secretary of Revenue Eileen H. McNulty reported today.
 Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $10.27 billion, which is about 0.3 percent, or $35.6 million, below estimate.
 "Last December we warned that March, April and May would be a critical period for revenue collections," Hershock said. "A lot of uncertainty surrounded our forecasts but this month has shown that we used prudent fiscal management by placing funding in reserve."
 McNulty said the March figures "confirm our earlier prediction that it would be difficult for revenues to meet the official projections during the last half of the fiscal year."
 In November and January, the Casey administration placed a total of $403 million in discretionary spending in budgetary reserve. These spending restraints were necessary for the following reasons:
 -- to cover a legislative drafting error for electric utility taxes which prevented $73 million from being collected in March;
 -- to cover the slower than expected recovery from the national recession; and,
 -- to relieve the Lottery Fund of nursing home payments it could not support if it were to maintain already budgeted programs for older Pennsylvanians.
 "The revenue shortfall for this month combined with the need for a supplemental appropriation bill is strong evidence that the $403 million in spending must remain on hold," Hershock said.
 "We are confident that the state can end the fiscal year without a deficit if we maintain restraint on spending."
 The following is a breakdown of specific tax collections for the month:
 March corporation tax revenues of $1.35 billion were $91 million, or 6.3 percent, below estimate. Year-to-date, corporation tax collections are $2.68 billion, which is $20 million, or 0.7 percent below estimate.
 Sales tax receipts totaled $349 million for March, $6.1 million, or 1.8 percent, above estimate. Sales tax collections year-to-date total $3.33 billion, which is $36.5 million, or 1.1 percent less than anticipated.
 "Sales tax collections year-to-date remain behind projections, and March collections of personal income tax offset a substantial timing gain from last month," McNulty said.
 Personal income tax (PIT) withholding payments in March were $303.1 million, which was $43.6 million, or 12.6 percent below estimate. This brings PIT withholding year-to-date to $2.86 billion, which is $10.1 million, or 0.4 percent above estimate.
 Non-withheld PIT payments in March were $56.4 million, which was $17.1 million, or 23.2 percent, less than anticipated. This brings year-to-date non-withheld PIT to $371.7 million, which is $18 million, or 4.6 percent, below estimate.
 Other General Fund revenue figures for the month included $44.9 million in inheritance tax, which is $600,000, or 1.2 percent above estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $391.7 million, which is on estimate.
 The realty transfer tax was $11.3 million for March -- bringing the total to $124.4 million for the year, which is $4.4 million, or 3.6 percent, more than anticipated.
 Other revenue for the month came in $300,000 below estimate.
 The Motor License Fund received $114.9 million for the month, a $700,000, or 0.6 percent shortfall, leaving the fund $10.1 million, or 0.9 percent, above estimate for the year-to-date.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/31/92
 /CONTACT: Rod Snyder of the Department of Revenue, 717-787-6960, or Sue Grimm of the Commonwealth News Bureau, 717-783-1116/ CO: Pennsylvania Department of Revenue ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


KA -- PH019 -- 3404 03/31/92 12:08 EST
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Date:Mar 31, 1992
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