More details emerge as Pennsylvania budget talks narrow gaps

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A potential deal to break Pennsylvania’s budget stalemate in its fifth month includes a sales tax increase, expanded school property tax cuts and hundreds of millions of new dollars for public schools.

Many other details remain unresolved and Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman cautioned Monday that there’s no final agreement between Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and lawmakers until everything is settled.

The preliminary deal involves a $30.7 billion budget, up about 6 percent. It’s boosted by slot-machine gambling revenue that’s currently passed along to homeowners as school property tax cuts. That money would be replaced by a sales tax increase for property tax cuts of about $2 billion to 7.25 percent, up from 6 percent.

A deal wouldn’t include a new tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production. A cigarette tax increase is under discussion.

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