Pennsylvania Budget Deficit Grows by Nearly $1 Billion

Both the Pennsylvania House Democrats and Republicans are reporting an April General Fund revenue shortfall of $941.5 million. I am still waiting for the report from the Department of Revenue, but I am assuming the legislators where given the advance numbers.

If this holds up, it represents a historical drop in collections – almost certainly the worst monthly shortfall in Pennsylvania history, 24% below estimate. It also represents a shortfall nearly triple that of March (even though March was a bigger month for collections). In fact, the one month shortfall is higher than the full-year shortfall in 2002-03 or 1990-91 – the two fiscal years which resulted in the largest tax increases in Pennsylvania History.

Quite frankly, I am a bit astounded. This shortfall is almost three times the estimated shortfall the Office of the Budget provided us in mid-March. How did they get it so wrong? I will be curious if there is any explanation.