Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said it has the votes in the state House to pass a tax package that could be the key to ending the state’s five-and-a-half-month budget impasse.
“We are confident that we have the votes to pass a final budget,” said spokesman Jeff Sheridan, “and we are hopeful that this is over soon.”
The announcement signals a major development for budget talks in the Republican-controlled House, where anti-tax sentiment threatened to take negotiations back to square one earlier this month.
House GOP leaders said they’ll hold the tax vote Saturday and work through the weekend on budget-related legislation.
The details of the tax plan are still a mystery.
“Nobody knows whether or not we’re going to go (personal income tax) or sales tax, or has any real specificity, besides rumors, about the rates,” said Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh.
The measure is expected to include some increase in the personal income tax, an expansion of the sales tax, and higher cigarette taxes.
“You know the game plan generally where it’s at,” said Rep. Seth Grove, R-York, who said he wouldn’t be supporting the tax plan rolled out for a vote.
Lawmakers are under increasing pressure from social services organizations and school districts that are cut off from their state funding due to the budget impasse. If it continues into the New Year, some schools have said they’ll have to close.
Some schools say if it continues into the New Year, they may have to close.