HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Latest on the Pennsylvania state budget (all times local):
Members of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board say they haven’t discussed the governor’s proposal to borrow money for the state budget but will cooperate with his office to explore it.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday he’s tired of waiting for Republican lawmakers to produce a plan to wipe out a projected $2.2 billion deficit. He says he’ll look to borrow against profits from the state-controlled liquor system to help patch it.
Wolf announced the move after efforts in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives to impose a new tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production and nearly double the state hotel tax rate all but collapsed.
Republican House Majority Leader Dave Reed says Wolf is covering for Democrats’ “inability to get anything done.”
The House and Senate adjourned Wednesday without plans to return before Oct. 16, leaving $600 million in higher education aid in limbo.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf says he’ll borrow against profits from Pennsylvania’s state-controlled liquor system to help fill a projected $2.2 billion deficit.
Wolf’s statement Wednesday came three months into a stalemate over fully funding a $32 billion budget bill that lawmakers passed June 30.
Wolf says he’s tired of waiting and that his steps will be immediate. Wolf pointed the finger at the House’s Republican majority for failing to come up with enough votes to produce a tax package big enough to meet his demands to pare down Pennsylvania’s stubborn post-recession deficit.
Wolf says the borrowing will raise about $1.2 billion, while he says he’ll manage the state’s workforce and costs to the best of his ability to save money. But he also suggests other spending cuts may be necessary without a revenue package.
A Republican plan to nearly double Pennsylvania’s state hotel tax rate is getting a cool reception from rank-and-file members of the House of Representatives as lawmakers scrounge for cash to break a three-month state budget stalemate.
A plan to vote on the proposal Wednesday appeared to be in trouble. House Democratic leaders say it’s unclear how many of their members or Republicans will support it.
Philadelphia-area Republicans as well as those from Hershey and the Pocono Mountains are opposing it for fear that their areas will have a harder time attracting big groups, like conventions.
It would boost the state hotel tax rate to 11 percent from 6 percent, giving Philadelphia and Pittsburgh the nation’s first- and second-highest hotel taxes, when combined with local hotel taxes.
A plan to nearly double Pennsylvania’s state hotel tax rate could get a final vote in the state House of Representatives as lawmakers scrounge for cash to break a three-month budget stalemate.
The plan on tap Wednesday would boost the state hotel tax rate to 11 percent from 6 percent. It would give Philadelphia and Pittsburgh the nation’s first- and second-highest hotel taxes, when combined with local hotel taxes.
The proposal blindsided tourism and hotel advocacy groups. They say they’ll have a harder time attracting big groups, like conventions.
It emerged after a tide of opposition drowned a proposed tax on commercial warehousing and House GOP leaders blocked a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf isn’t saying whether he supports it, and says he still prefers a Marcellus Shale tax.