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State still $70 million short of amnesty goal

Is it starting to feel like every time you turn around, there's another existential threat to Pennsylvania's finances looming? Whether it's Medicaid funding, monthly tax revenues, or I-80 tolling, it seems like there's always something making our state's already-bad projected deficit still worse.

Well, here's a new one for you: amnesty collections. The Pennsylvania Independent reports that with just three days left, the state has collected $120 million of the $190 million it expected to collect with its amnesty. Whatever the state doesn't collect gets tacked on to the current $1.3 billion deficit that the governor and legislature are wrangling over in Harrisburg.

There's still hope, however.

"What we know from last time, about 74 percent of the applications came in in the last two weeks. What we know typically from the last Tax Amnesty, most people wait until the deadline," said Stephanie Weyant, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. "We're not going to know if it's 74 percent until all the applications are in [but] activity has picked up, phone calls have picked up. We think we're on track to reach the $190 million goal."

The question after the 18th is whether the state really goes out and finds delinquents, as it has promised.

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