CHICAGO - Although Wisconsin closed out its last fiscal year with stronger than expected tax growth, the state could face a $3 billion deficit in its next two-year budget, officials warned this week.

The warning is based on preliminary estimates that stem from a comparison of the state's most recent tax data available for September 2008 and that of September 2007. The figures show a 5% drop from the more than $1.3 billion collected last year, said state budget director David Schmiedicke.

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