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Updated: Wolf plan seeks higher income, drilling taxes

Written by The Associated Press | Oct 6, 2015 10:03 AM
wolf_aug11_2015.jpg

Photo by AP Photo/Matt Rourke

FILE PHOTO: Governor Tom Wolf.

(Harrisburg) -- Gov. Tom Wolf is pursuing a half-point increase in the state's personal income tax and a new extraction tax on natural gas drilling in an effort to solve the state's 3-month-old budget impasse.

Basic details of the proposal Wolf will formally submit later today also include cuts for seniors and disabled people in property taxes used to fund schools, according to an administration document obtained by The Associated Press.

Wolf says the new money will close the deficit and add about $400 million for basic education.

Republican leaders have offered to hold a vote as a way to show the governor's proposal for higher taxes lacks sufficient support in the Legislature.

The state income tax rate would increase from 3.07 percent to 3.57 percent.

An earlier story is below:

A day after issuing a warning of steep education spending cuts and higher borrowing costs because of the budget stalemate with GOP lawmakers, Governor Tom Wolf is slated to unveil a revised tax plan today.

Wolf says the plan being laid out today is different from what he originally floated in March with a $31.6 billion budget proposal.

With Democrats currently facing a 119-84 minority in the House, Wolf will still need Republicans to cross party lines and support higher state income or sales taxes.

The first-term Democrat declined to reveal yesterday whether he has been able to attract any GOP support for higher taxes, two days before his plan could see a vote in the state House.

The governor says broad-based taxes are necessary to wipe out Republican-backed funding cuts for schools and human services and to eliminate a long-term budget deficit.

The state government budget impasse will reach 100 days later this week.

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