Pennsylvania Deficit Watch: April 2017

Revenue collections fell below expectations for the fifth consecutive month. The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue reported collections of approximately $4.4 billion last week, which was $229.6 million less than anticipated.  

Total revenue collections for the year-to-date are now more than $679 million below the official estimate.

If collections continue to underperform, the commonwealth will likely end the year with a larger deficit than predicted by the Wolf Administration. This is the inevitable consequence of trying to tax-and-spend Pennsylvania into prosperity. In fact, this has been the approach for decades—and one Gov. Wolf would like to continue.

Fortunately, House Republicans have offered an alternative path. They recently passed a budget that accomplishes the following:

  • Eliminates the deficit,
  • holds the line on taxes,
  • cuts corporate welfare,
  • keeps spending within the Taxpayer Protection Act index, and
  • begins to implement the long-term reforms needed to drive down costs in state government.

This budget breaks free from the traditional model of governing, where quick fixes serve as a replacement for long-term solutions. And as Majority Leader Dave Reed has indicated, the House budget is just a first step toward reinventing government.

If lawmakers on both sides of the aisle continue to hold firm to this commitment, they can help make Pennsylvania a place where families want to live and businesses want to serve.