Wolf vs. Corman and a mid-week budget update

A day following a sit-down meeting with Gov. Wolf and Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) where Sen. Corman told reporters that Republicans will not support broad-based tax increases proposed by the governor, Gov. Wolf’s press secretary called the senator’s viewpoints one of political expediency.

"The refusal by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and Republican leaders to accept basic math and acknowledge Pennsylvania’s massive structural budget deficit is the sole obstacle preventing budget talks from moving forward," Jeff Sheridan said in an email to interested parties.

"Strangely, today’s Sen. Corman doesn’t agree with the Sen. Corman of the past. Sen. Corman’s leadership title seems to have shifted his ideals on budgeting and financial planning."

The email uses quotes from media reports showing Sen. Corman in the past has said some tax increases would be necessary to fill budget needs and would’ve been supported by Senate Republicans in the last budget cycle.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
IFO revenue estimate: short term positives, long term uncertainties

IFO revenue estimate: short term positives, long term uncertainties

According to the initial FY 2015-2016 revenue estimate released Monday by the Independent Fiscal Office, revenue projections for the short-term appear rosier than original estimates suggested.

The report notes that while currently positive trends in terms of low inflation, increased consumer spending, and larger corporate profits have led to an increase of revenue projections, uncertainties pertaining to the cause of corporate revenue growth and the use of one-time revenue sources in the current fiscal year cloud the prospect of long-term positive growth.

“The revisions we are making now are good news short-term, but long term it is unclear how it is going to play out,” said IFO Director Matthew Knittel during Monday’s briefing. “Much of these revenues could not be carried forward.”

As an overview, IFO’s revised estimate now puts FY 2014-2015 General Fund revenue estimates at $30.6 billion, which they say is a $1.9 billion increase over the prior fiscal year and $594 million higher than the original estimate in August.

Monday, May 4, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

IFO report says Gov. Wolf’s revenue proposals will increase taxes across all income levels

The Independent Fiscal Office Thursday released a required analysis of revenue proposals articulated in Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal and finds that the proposals will raise taxes on Pennsylvanians among all income brackets.

The report indicates that by FY 2019-2020, the proposals will increase net state and local tax revenues by $5.2 billion, which comprises of $9.8 billion in tax increases and $4.6 billion in tax and rent relief.

“Those new funds will be used to support additional spending on various priorities identified in the Executive Budget,” the report reads. “The proposals implement substantive changes to the current tax system and they will have disparate impacts across the Commonwealth based on a resident’s income level, consumption patterns, and school district of residence.”

Thursday, April 23, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Combined reporting hearing: partisan or educational?

Combined reporting hearing: partisan or educational?

The House Finance Committee held a hearing on the issue of combined reporting Wednesday that some are calling partisan, while others have defended it as educational.

Combined reporting would require multi-state corporations with a Pennsylvania presence to pay Pennsylvania taxes on the combined income of all entities, regardless of whether they are headquartered in Pennsylvania.

Currently, under the so-called Delaware Loophole, corporations with their headquarters in Delaware can avoid paying Pennsylvania corporate taxes despite having a presence in the Commonwealth.

Wednesday’s hearing was brought together as a result of Gov. Tom Wolf proposing to lower Pennsylvania’s current corporate net income tax of 9.99 percent to 4.99 percent so long as combined reporting is adopted.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

State’s revenue woes could impact tax refunds

At last week’s mid-year budget briefing, Budget Secretary Charles Zogby noted one potential risk that has arisen since the passage of the FY 2014-2015 budget: Come tax season, revenues will not be enough to cover refunds.

“The Department of Revenue is anticipating that we may have more in refunds than what we have available in terms of resources,” said Sec. Zogby. “[It’s] a potential weakness out there on the horizon.”

Tuesday, December 9, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views