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HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration will look to borrow against the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center to help plug a projected $2.2 billion deficit.
Wolf’s office made the announcement Monday. Efforts stalled last week in the state House of Representatives to pass a tax package the governor would support.
Wolf says what he calls a “lease-leaseback” for the Farm Show is expected to yield a $200 million upfront payment, to be paid back with interest over 29 years. State government is three months into its fiscal year without an approved revenue package to fully fund a nearly $32 billion budget bill that lawmakers passed June 30.
Republican House Majority Policy Committee chairman Rep. Kerry Benninghoff says the reason it has taken so long to pay for the budget is because House Republicans don’t want to raise taxes.
“We’re not going raise a new tax, as has been proposed. There’s been proposals to raise 6 percent on your cable, 6 percent on your heating energy…electricity and telecommunications [and] that’s going to raise your overall tax liability with those utilities to 12 percent,” said Benninghoff.
Benninghoff adds the money is there to pay for the budget.
“There’s enough money in these other departments that can be squeezed out in order to get that balance of $100 million,” said Benninghoff.
Wolf said last week that his administration is seeking to borrow $1.2 billion against revenue from the state-controlled wine and liquor store system.
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