State Budget Secretary Charles Zogby reported that the state will lose $300 million this year if Congress and President Obama fail to reach compromise on the fiscal cliff.
Zogby’s comments on the federal financial crisis came as part of his mid-year budget briefing delivered December 5 in Harrisburg. Other budget news wasn’t much better. Collections will win out over expenditures this year — although November’s numbers were off — but higher costs in Medicaid and public pensions would erase nearly all of the increases.
The Budget Office estimates that public pensions will cost an additional $500 million by the time the fiscal year ends June 30, 2013. State Medicaid costs will increase from $4.8 billion to $4.9 billion.
According to the Budget Offce, the loss of federal dollars would result in cuts of $43 million from the state’s Title I program, $22 million from special education, $19 million from the Women, Infants and Children Program, $5.3 million from social services, $1 million from early intervention and $2 million from community service block grants.
In November, Pennsylvania collected $1.7 billion in General Fund revenue, which was $23.1 million, or 1.4 percent, less than expected, according to the state Department of Revenue. But the state remains $59.1 million — or 0.6 percent — ahead of revenue collection expectations for the fiscal year, with a total take, thus far, of $9.8 billion.
Two of Pennsylvania’s “big three” revenue streams — personal income tax and sales tax collections — did not meet anticipated levels last month, a statement from the Revenue Department said. The last of the trio — corporation taxes — performed only slightly better than estimates for the month. The state’s “sin taxes” — levies on cigarettes, alcohol and table games gambling — also came up short of expectations in November.