PA Budget Battle Continues, Marcellus Severance Tax Off the Table

tax revenuePennsylvania legislators went home for the long Fourth of July holiday weekend without a final budget in place. The clock is ticking. The spending part of the budget–some $31.5 billion (a massive amount) has been agreed to by both the Republican-controlled legislature and Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf. However, the budget needs to find another $1.5 billion to fund it–the shortfall in the current plan. Wolf wants “sustainable revenue”–by which he means permanent tax increases on something. Wolf’s preference is to slap a Marcellus Shale-killing severance tax on the natural gas industry. That’s a non-starter for the Republican-controlled legislature–people who actually know how economics work. It does appear the two sides are close to getting the budget passed. This week should tell the tale of how the state plans to raise enough money to bridge the shortfall…

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