HARRISBURG -- Despite disappointing revenue collections in March, Pennsylvania remains in position to achieve a balanced budget by the end of the 2009-10 fiscal year, pending tax data for April. That's the word from Governor Edward G. Rendell.
Rendell said it would be premature to deviate from the plan that he presented to balance the budget. Through careful planning plus recent unanticipated help from the federal government, Pennsylvania will be able to deal with the year-to-date budget shortfall, which could reach $750 million when March revenues are released today.
March revenues are expected to come in $273 million below the official estimate. Several factors indicate that the large March revenue underage could be an anomaly thanks to sales tax collections that are expected to be $61 million below estimate.
Experts say that can be blamed on a series of winter storms that many merchants around the state have said affected their business.
Rendell had projected a deficit at $525 million by the end of the current fiscal year on June 30. While March totals will increase that challenge by as much as an additional $225 million, the Governor said payments for tax refunds have been running less than expected, and could give the state at least $50 million for the General Fund.
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