(Corrects public debt figure in final paragraph)
NEW YORK, May 11 (Reuters) - Puerto Rico’s April tax haul totaled $1.33 billion, an increase of $151.7 million compared to the same month last year but still $97.4 million below official forecasts, according to a report from the U.S. territory’s Treasury department on Monday.
Puerto Rico’s Treasury said the monthly tax haul in April was the second best on record behind April 2011. The Treasury said a recent law that allowed a reduced rate on certain prepaid taxes had helped collections during the month.
Collections for the first ten months of the current fiscal year through the end of April reached $7.34 billion, $61.6 million higher than the same period last year but $250.6 million short of the government’s forecast for the period.
Treasury Secretary Juan Zaragoza Gomez said in the Treasury’s release that he expects the incentives and other unspecified administrative actions would help close the gap.
The Government Development Bank (GDB) said in quarterly report last week that it expects the government will close the fiscal year with a budget deficit of $191 million. The GDB said an estimated revenue shortfall of $651 million would be offset by other revenue measures.
Puerto Rico is struggling with about $72 billion in public debt and facing potentially painful budget cuts this year and next as it attempts to balance its budget. (Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)