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Pa. analyst brightens outlook for tax collections

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Pennsylvania's state budgetmakers are getting better news about the spending plan they're trying to assemble in the waning days of June.

The state Legislature's fiscal analysts said Monday that they're estimating state tax collections this year and next year will be just $220 million behind where Gov. Tom Corbett projected them in February.

That's a $300 million improvement from the $520 million revenue gap the Independent Fiscal Office identified in its May 1 estimate. They're projecting tax collections will grow 3.8 percent in this fiscal year and by 1.2 percent in the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The state Senate is currently considering a $28.3 billion spending plan penned by House Republicans. It would boost public schools spending by $100 million and cut business taxes by an estimated $360 million.