Los Angeles took in $18.6 million from 8,673 businesses, which took advantage of a business-tax amnesty that the nation’s second-biggest city offered to raise revenue this year.

Under the three-month program, the businesses had until July 31 to pay delinquent city taxes without penalties. They avoided $6.7 million in penalties and the city garnered unanticipated funds to help close a budget deficit. The revenue was $10 million higher than expected.

“The program allowed us to increase revenue without raising taxes,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a release. “By paying their fair share of city taxes, the businesses that participated are actively supporting the essential services that make our city work.”

The money will help reduce a $300 million-plus shortfall in this year’s general fund budget that Villaraigosa has been working to close. Los Angeles is seeking savings in labor costs and offering early retirement to workers to close the gap.

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