Pennsylvania Senate Approves New, Higher Taxes

HARRISBURG (AP) – The Pennsylvania Senate has passed legislation to balance the state budget that includes heavy borrowing and some tax increases.

Under the plan, consumers’ utility bills would go up, Marcellus Shale drillers would pay a severance tax and Pennsylvania would make a new effort to capture tax revenue from internet sales.

Republicans who control the chamber unveiled their plan to close a $2.2 billion hole in the $32 billion state budget late Wednesday. It includes a proposal to borrow $1.3 billion against Pennsylvania’s annual share of the 1998 multistate settlement with tobacco companies.

The legislation passed 26-24. It drew the support of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, but could run into trouble in the tax-averse House.

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