BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — With a deadline looming, Louisiana's latest tax amnesty program was close to reaching its collection goal from delinquent taxpayers.

The state's revenue forecasting panel was told Friday that as of midday, the program had collected $96 million. The program needed to bring in $100 million to keep this year's state budget in balance. The amnesty program began Oct. 15 and was wrapping up Friday at midnight.

Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield said he expects the final total to reach at least $127 million.

The amnesty program allows people to settle state tax debts with half the interest they would otherwise owe and no penalties charged.

An estimated 450,000 taxpayers owe $1.8 billion in Louisiana taxes. Details about the amnesty program are available at www.ldrtaxamnesty.com or by calling 866-782-9241.

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