Motor License Fund revenues slightly higher as state fiscal year ends

July 6, 2010

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ended the 2009-10 fiscal year on June 30 with a massive $1.1 billion deficit.  Motor License Fund (MLF)* revenues, however, ended the fiscal year up $5.4 million. or 0.2 percent above estimates.  While this number is encouraging, the MLF is still yielding far less than needed for an adequate highway program.

The state Department of Revenue reported that the MLF received $195.3 million in the month of June, which was $28.9 million below estimate. Total fiscal year-to-date collections are approximately $2.6 billion.

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.

*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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