Pa. legislature passes tax bill; Gov. Wolf signs it

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Governor Tom Wolf signed a $1.3 billion revenue package Wednesday after it was approved by the state legislature.

Wolf, in a statement before the private signing in his office, said the package includes sustainable, recurring revenue that makes significant progress toward reducing Pennsylvania’s structural deficit.

Approval of the revenue package, the final piece of the new state budget, avoids another lengthy impasse. It passed the state House by a vote of 116-75 and the state Senate by a 28-22 vote.

The package borrows $200 million from a surplus in a state medical malpractice insurance fund, counts on $100 million from pending legislation to legalize internet gaming, and allows tax delinquents to pay back taxes without penalty to generate another $100 million.

It increases the tax on cigarettes from $1.60 to $2.60 per pack, imposes a 55-cents-per-ounce tax on roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco, and sets a 40 percent tax on the wholesale price of electronic cigarettes.

The state sales tax will be extended to the download of digital videos, books, games, music, and applications.

Highlights of the $1.3 billion tax and revenue package approved Wednesday by the Pennsylvania legislature:

CIGARETTES: Increases the per-pack excise tax on cigarettes by $1 to $2.60 to generate $430 million.

LOAN: Borrows $200 million from a surplus in a state medical malpractice insurance fund, to be paid by over a five-year period starting July 1, 2018.

WINE AND LIQUOR: Projects a month-old law liberalizing the sale of wine and liquor will generate $149 million.

TAX DELINQUENTS: Allows tax delinquents to pay back taxes without penalty to generate $100 million.

CASINO GAMBLING EXPANSION: Assumes $100 million from gambling legislation that is on hold until the fall, primarily from licensing fees for legalizing internet gambling.

PHILADELPHIA CASINO: Books $75 million in expected license fees from Philadelphia casino that was awarded a license in 2014.

SALES TAX DISCOUNT: Lowers the amount of sales tax collections that retailers may keep to generate $55 million.

TOBACCO: Imposes a 55-cents-per-ounce tax on roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco to generate about $50 million.

DIGITAL DOWNLOADS: Eliminates an exemption from the state’s 6 percent sales tax on the download of digital videos, books, games, music and applications to generate $47 million.

BANKS: Raises rate of shares tax on bank and trust companies to 0.95 percent, from 0.89 percent, to generate $23 million.

TABLE GAMES: Imposes a new 2 percent tax on casinos’ gross revenue from table games to generate $17 million.

INCOME TAX: Extends 3.07 percent state income tax to Pennsylvania Lottery winnings to generate $16 million.

ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES: Imposes a 40 percent tax on the wholesale price of electronic cigarettes, including vapor producing devices and liquid cartridges, to generate $13 million.

Source: The Associated Press

Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download the ABC27 News App and the ABC27 Weather App for your phone and tablet.

6 thoughts on “Pa. legislature passes tax bill; Gov. Wolf signs it

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s