Budget hearings are underway at the state Capitol.
Every department head will appear before House and Senate committees in the coming weeks to justify Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s budget requests. Up first: Acting Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser, who explained Pennsylvania’s tax collections. “We do presently have a $243 million surplus for [the current fiscal year],
he told the panel. “We are projecting, however, a $78 million dollar surplus come the end of this fiscal year.” That’s due to overly-optimistic gross and personal income tax estimates, he said, as well as lost revenue from a federally-mandated tax credit. Meuser is optimistic about where revenue is headed.
Personal income tax, corporate taxes, sales tax, use tax, all continues – more or less moving in the right direction. We are anticipating that to continue in [fiscal year] 11/12.”
Corbett’s budget would increase the Revenue Department’s funding by $7 million, to about $197 million. The spending plan includes more than $20 million for technology updates. Meuser said the expenses would be worthwhile, and will lead to “a higher level of customer service [and] Much more [computer] automation” within the department. “It will allow for efficiency measures to take place,” he said.