Tax amnesty program generates big surplus

Pennsylvania’s eight week tax amnesty window generated 261 million dollars – which is 71 million more than lawmakers budgeted for.

At an afternoon press conference, Governor Rendell said most of that additional revenue will cut into the commonwealth’s 1.2 billion dollar revenue shortfall. “16 million of the 71 went for administrative costs – our advertising campaign, overtime, call center work and the like,” he explained. “So we’ve netted 55 million dollars more than we assumed in the budget. Some of that goes to the Motor Vehicle Fund, but the lion’s share, by far, will go to the operating budget.”

Rendell says he’s confident as much as $550 million additional back taxes are out there, and he wants to hire 40 more Revenue Department agents to track tax delinquents down.

That would mean an additional $2.3 million  for the department’s budget, but Rendell says the extra agents could collect as much as 40 million dollars.

Now that the amnesty window has closed, the penalty for unpaid back taxes increases by five percent.

About pubradiopolitics
Scott covers state government and politics for Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WITF in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and WDUQ in Pittsburgh.

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