Tax increase on sales, income seen as unlikely in Pa. deal

    The Pennsylvania Senate’s top Democrat says a final budget agreement probably won’t include an increase in the sales or personal income tax that Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has sought to boost education funding and wipe out a deficit.

    Still, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa said Monday that differences remain between Democrats and Republicans in talks to end a four-month-old budget stalemate. He also says $2 billion in new revenue is necessary to correct a long-term deficit and ensure that schools and human services aren’t squeezed next year.

    Democrats still want substantial increases in aid to schools and human services to offset funding cuts under Wolf’s predecessor, Costa said, and they want a heftier tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production.

    The Legislature’s Republican majority has opposed a tax increase on sales or income.

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