PA Senate approves massive tax increase budget, sent to House

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Consumers’ utility bills would go up, Marcellus Shale drillers would pay a tax they’ve long resisted and Pennsylvania would make a new effort to capture tax revenue from internet sales under legislation poised for a vote in the state Senate.

Republicans who control the chamber unveiled their plan to close a $2 billion hole in the $32 billion state budget late Wednesday, including a proposal to borrow $1.3 billion against Pennsylvania’s annual share of the 1998 multistate settlement with tobacco companies.

The legislation cleared a key committee late Wednesday. The full Senate will vote on it Thursday.

The $2.2 billion tax increase package includes higher taxes on your phone bill and for natural gas consumption; it would continue to seek collection of the state sales tax on internet transactions; it expands the sale of fireworks and adds higher taxes; and it establishes a severance tax on natural gas drillers…

The bill is drawing the support of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, but it could run into trouble in the tax-averse House.

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