Tax hike faces long odds with state

    While Philadelphia City Council and Mayor Michael Nutter stand united behind the city’s budget, they could have a tough time selling the deal in Harrisburg.

    While Philadelphia City Council and Mayor Michael Nutter stand united behind the city’s budget, they could have a tough time selling the deal in Harrisburg. Several items need state approval, but the city’s fiscal needs could end up becoming a pawn within the larger state budget negotiations.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090522spbudget.mp3]

    The sticking point could become the sales tax hike, which needs the greenlight from Harrisburg. But the state itself is facing a more than $3 billion dollar deficit. And Governor Rendell has proposed new taxes, that are unpopular with Republicans. Jake Corman is a Republican State Senator and leader of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He says getting the sales tax approved won’t be easy.

    Corman: We’ll see, we’ll work with it, I would have preferred the mayor’s original proposal but the Council didn’t support it and we’ll have to live with what we have but obviously this is a much harder sell.

    Senator Anthony Williams is a Democrat from Philadelphia. He puts the odds at fifty-fifty of the General Assembly approving the sales tax hike.

    Lawmakers have a goal of reaching a budget deal by the end of June. But with such a large budget gap, negotiations could drag on into the summer.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.