Pa. State Budget Shortfall Approaching $500 Million

Associated Press

Halfway through Pennsylvania’s fiscal year, the state government revenue shortfall is approaching a half-billion dollars, according to figures the Corbett administration released Tuesday.

Overall collections trailed estimates by 4 percent, or $487 million, through December, and most major tax lines lagged estimates for the month and the year to date.

As The Inquirer reported Tuesday, Gov. Corbett has extended a pay freeze for thousands of nonunion management employees in the executive branch, as well as himself and members of his cabinet.

Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley said other austerity measures “will be forthcoming,” but he would not elaborate.

Collections of corporate taxes were especially weak. Payments for the six months ending in June totaled $1.2 billion – $259 million, or nearly 18 percent, less than anticipated.

The $27.2 billion budget for 2011-12 slashed aid for education, held social-service spending steady despite a rising demand for services, and did not raise taxes to cope with a drop in state revenues and the loss of federal stimulus money

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