Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell last week announced that Stephen Stetler will replace outgoing Department of Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf at the end of November.
Stetler is executive director of the Pennsylvania Economy League and previously worked in the Department of Revenue in the 1970s and ’80s. He served as a state representative in the 95th legislative district for 16 years beginning in the 1991-1992 session, and was a partner in a family-owned car dealership in York.
Stetler holds a master’s degree with an emphasis in finance from Johns Hopkins University. He received BA and Master of Divinity degrees from Drew University.
“Steve’s extensive financial experience in the public and private sectors will serve the commonwealth well, especially during these trying economic times,” Rendell said in a press release. “He already knows his way around the capitol and the Department of Revenue, where he previously served as deputy secretary of taxation.”
Stetler joins the department as revenues are underperforming for fiscal 2009, which began July 1. Year-to-date general fund collections through October total $7.4 billion, which is $564.8 million below projections. Corporate tax revenues from July through October were $121.3 million below estimate, a 14% drop, totaling $764.1 million. Sales and personal income tax receipts also declined, according to a Department of Revenue press release.
In addition, the state is collecting less non-tax revenue compared to the same period last year. The state reports a negative $121.4 million in non-tax revenue collection from July through October, which is $225.2 million below estimate. In October, those revenues totaled negative $135.1 million, $167 million below projections for the month.
Last month, Rendell called for $350 million of budget cuts, including a hiring freeze, and bans on new vehicle purchases and out-of-state travel.