Pa. GOP Senate leader says sales, income tax hikes won't fly

Written by The Associated Press | Jul 7, 2015 1:49 PM

Photo by AP Photo/Matt Rourke

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman says a state budget stalemate will last for as long as Governor Tom Wolf wants a tax increase on income or sales to prop up state spending.

Corman spoke after leaving a meeting with Wolf in the Democratic governor's Capitol offices.

Corman isn't ruling out other kinds of tax increases, but he says Republicans will never support a broad-based tax increase on sales or income. Wolf also wants higher taxes on Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling, banks and sales of tobacco products to wipe out a long-term deficit and deliver a record boost in aid to public schools.

Wolf didn't speak to reporters after the meeting. Corman says Republicans are open to helping Wolf meet his goals, within reason.

Wolf has until Friday night to act on a Republican-crafted pension bill before it becomes law. Corman says the issue wasn't discussed.

An earlier story:

Democratic Governor Tom Wolf isn't backing off his demand for a new state budget after vetoing a $30.2 billion document passed solely by Republican state lawmakers.

Wolf told KDKA radio in Pittsburgh this morning the Republican budget bill didn't balance and Pennsylvania state government needs to get serious about putting its finances in order.

Republicans are pitting their no-new-taxes budget that uses transfers and payment delays to balance against Wolf's request for billions of dollars in tax increases to fund a record boost in public school aid and wipe out a long-term deficit that's damaged Pennsylvania's credit rating.

The veto and subsequent stalemate's left the state government with limited spending authority since last week.

No additional meetings were planned.

A Friday deadline looms for Wolf to decide on a Republican-crafted pension overhaul bill.

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