What Do July Revenue Collections Mean?

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue released the July 2009 revenue collections yesterday.  The state collected $1.65 billion in General Fund revenue in July.

Normally, this report would include how far off the collections were “to estimates”, but being as there is no state budget, there is no estimate to compare it to.  Gov. Rendell and lawmakers are working with an assumption that there will be a 0% growth (absent tax increases), and revenues were down $95 million from last year. (Note: income and sales taxes were down, corporate taxes were up, surprisingly, and cigarette and liquor taxes were also up–good thing folks are smoking and drinking more)

However, the economy hadn’t bottomed out by last July (in fact, last July’s collections were right on target with estimates), so this doesn’t tell us much.  A Senate Republican spokesman suggests we are looking to be on track for collecting $25.5 billion, but we probably won’t be able to start drawing any conclusions until October or November.