Motor License Fund revenues down slightly in May

June 2, 2010

Although still yielding far less than needed for an adequate highway program, Motor License Fund (MLF)* revenues continue to hold close to estimates.

The state Department of Revenue reported that the MLF received $215.2 million in the month of May, which was $7.8 million below estimate. Total fiscal year-to-date collections are approximately $2.4 billion, which is $23.4 million, or 0.9%, below estimates.

Last fiscal year’s budget estimate for the Motor License Fund was $2.73 billion and collections for the year were only $2.55 billion, thereby falling short of estimates by $175.8 million. The FY 2009-10 estimate is $2.63 billion.

PennDOT estimates that for every 1 cent of gasoline tax approximately $62 million in revenue in generated. Therefore, with the MLF falling short by $175 million last year, approximately 3 cents of the fuel tax was eroded by decreased revenues.

Meanwhile, the state’s General Fund revenue continues to fall far short of estimates and is now off by $1.2 billion to date, with only one month remaining in the fiscal year.

*The MLF is the constitutionally protected account that is used to fund the commonwealth’s highway program. MLF revenues consist of fuel taxes, license and registration fees, fines and penalties, and misc. sales.

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