Friday, December 01, 2006

Tony Phyrillas: The Pennsylvania Taxman Cometh

Gov. Ed Rendell's Minister of Propaganda was bragging earlier this week that Rendell received a mandate to do whatever he wants over the next four years because he received 60 percent of the vote on Election Day.

That may include raising the gasoline tax (already the second highest in the nation), the sales tax (one of the highest in the nation) and the income tax (raised 10 percent by Rendell in 2003).

In case you need a reminder of how much taxes Pennsylvania residents pay, here's the monthly recap from the Department of Revenue:

The state collected $1.6 billion in General Fund revenue in November, $56.4 million or 3.6 percent more than anticipated, according to Revenue Secretary Gregory C. Fajt.

Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $9.2 billion, which is $8.7 million or 0.1 percent above estimate, Fajt reports.

Sales Tax receipts totaled $669.4 million for November, which was $16.2 million below estimate. Sales Tax collections year-to-date total $3.6 billion, which is $26.7 million below estimate or 0.7 percent less than anticipated.

Personal Income Tax (PIT) revenue in November was $625.1 million, which was $8.8 million above estimate. This brings year-to-date PIT collections to $3.5 billion, which is $17.6 million or 0.5 percent above estimate.

November Corporation Tax revenue of $106.2 million was $48.7 million above estimate. Year-to-date Corporation Tax collections total $996.7 million, which is $32.6 million or 3.4 percent above estimate.

Other General Fund revenue figures for the month included $60 million in Inheritance Tax, which was $500,000 above estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $296.9 million, which is $24.1 million below estimate.

Realty Transfer Tax was $39.9 million for November, bringing the total to $252.5 million for the year, which is $18.7 million less than anticipated.

Other General Fund revenue including the Cigarette, Malt Beverage and Liquor Tax totaled $126.4 million for the month, $25.3 million above estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $574.7 million, which is $28 million above estimate.

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $171.3 million for the month, $11.7 million below estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund total $1 billion, which is $11.5 million or 1.1 percent below estimate.

The Gaming Fund received $52.8 million in unrestricted revenues for November. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund total $102.8 million. Gaming Fund receipts include taxes, fees and interest. Of the total for the month, $2.8 million was collected in state taxes for property tax relief.

Other gaming-related revenues collected for November included $325,000 for the Local Share Assessment; $406,000 for the Economic Development and Tourism Fund; and $1 million for the Race Horse Development Fund.

Let's review. In the past four years, property taxes have risen by $2 billion for every Pennsylvania homeowner despite Rendell'’s promise to lower them. And thanks to Act 1, signed into law by Rendell, your school board will most like raise the Earned Income Tax or Personal Income Tax in 2007 AND also raise your property taxes. That's what Rendell has done for you in the past four years and you went ahead and gave him another four years in office.

Now that the Democrats apparently control the state House, it will make it that much easier for Rendell to get his way with raising taxes, so get ready to fork over more of your hard-earned dollars to Uncle Eddie.

Don't say I didn't warn you about re-electing Rendell. And now with Bill DeWeese will get his hands on the state budget, start packing. You won't be able to afford to live in this state much longer.

Tony Phyrillas is a columnist for The Mercury in Pottstown, Pa. E-mail him at

1 comment:

Franny Ward said...

It's a disgrace that "fast eddie" is getting away with this.. I voted for him, only because I thought Swann was incapible of doing anything more than a sports commentary.

Our taxes are way to high, the "Commonwealth" in it self resorts back to jolly old England, as does Virginia and some State in New England.

What we need to do as Pennsylvanians is to worry about our State(Homeland) first, then the rest of the union.

Cheers :)