Wednesday, June 2, 2010

PA Officials Hope Amnesty Response Picks Up

With a bit more than two weeks to go in Pennsylvania's tax amnesty program, the Revenue Department has collected 76.9 million dollars.
That's less than half of the effort's 190 million dollar goal.
Revenue Department spokeswoman Stephanie Weyant says there were a lot of applications in the first few weeks of the program, but that traffic slowed down in late May.
She says the department expects a big surge in the final two weeks, and has recently launched another advertising campaign to help boost awareness of the program.

"We had a television commercial that ran the first three weeks. We have a new television commercial running for the last three weeks of the program. We're also continuing all of the radio, print and online advertising throughout the rest of the program."

The General Fund is counting on at least 190 million dollars from the effort to balance the budget. Anything less would add to the state's 1.2 billion dollar revenue gap. Weyant says more than three quarters of applications came in during the final two weeks during the last amnesty effort, so she's confident the program will reach its financial goal.

"We know from last time that about 74 percent of people waited until the last two weeks before the deadline to apply. So if that holds true this time, we plan to reach the 190 million dollar goal."

Weyant says they advise people not to wait until the last minute because they anticipate the phone center will be very busy in the coming weeks.

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