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April Tax Collections Bring More Bad News For Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA/AP) - Another bad month of tax collections is deepening the Pennsylvania state government's budget hole.

The Department of Revenue said Monday that April's tax collections came in $537 million below expectations. That means the state's overall shortfall 10 months through the fiscal year is more than $1 billion.

Rep. Joseph Markosek, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, says April's shortfall must serve as a wake-up call.

The growing gap could put more pressure on Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to accept spending cuts or the Republican-controlled Legislature to raise taxes as they prepare a budget plan for the fiscal year starting this July 1.

The bad news arrives after the Legislature's nonpartisan Independent Fiscal Office projected a shortfall of nearly $3 billion through next summer.

Gov. Wolf tells the "KDKA Morning News" it looks worse than it really is.

"There will be some big corporate receipts coming in in May that came in last year and for years before in April and I think in estimating April's receipts, they forgot to realize some of the stuff that used to come in in April is now going to come in May, so I think May is going to be a pretty good month," said Wolf.

Wolf says his budget has a plan to tackle the deficit:

"[In all] $ 2.1 billion of that deficit I'm making up by streamlining government...and then the other $900 million, I'm closing some corporate loopholes. I'm not raising any taxes on individuals," Wolf said.

Listen to the "KDKA Morning News" with Larry Richert and John Shumway weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.

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