Weak tax collections will test Corbett tax pledge

Weak tax collections are putting Republican Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett under pressure to sign off on another tax increase, which he pledged not to do when he ran for office.

The problem is this: Tax collections are about $600 million behind expectations, the worst collapse since 2010. That’s a shortfall tantamount to $1.2 billion in Corbett’s original $29.4 billion budget proposal.

The new fiscal year begins July 1.

For now, Corbett hasn’t publicly agreed to any plan to fill the budget gap with a tax increase. But his aides also haven’t ruled it out.

Corbett’s budget secretary, Charles Zogby, says it hasn’t been discussed. But he also says that money needs to be found if Corbett is going to make progress on his key priorities.

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