Wolf to Sign Revenue Bills With Tax Increases on Cigarettes, Downloads
Gov. Tom Wolf has vowed to sign revenue bills passed last night by the Pennsylvania legislature that include additional tobacco taxes and apply the state sales tax to digital downloads. The legislature approved a $31.5 billion spending plan last month that became law Monday night.
The bills meet Wolf’s goals for funding public schools and programs that counter opioid and heroin addiction.
Last year saw the longest budget delay in modern state history, with the legislature taking nine months the June 2015 deadline to reach a deal. This year, the deal was struck in less than two weeks after the July 1st deadline.
“Today’s passage of a revenue package means that we avoid another lengthy impasse, our budget is balanced this year, and we have greatly reduced the commonwealth’s structural budget deficit,” Wolf said in a statement. “I will sign this revenue package.”
The bills call for $1 tax increase on cigarette packs as well as additional tobacco tax increases that are expected to bring in $63 million, according to the Inquirer. Applying the 6 percent state sales tax to digital downloads is projected to raise up to $47 million in revenue.
Changes made by Republicans that could prompt a step toward the privatization of alcohol could result in $149 million in new revenue. A gambling expansion bill has been delayed.
On Sunday night, Wolf announced that if signed by the state House and Senate, the bills would become law without his signature.
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