Gov. Rendell this week said he will revise his 2010-11 budget proposal to help deal with the estimated $1.1 billion deficit saying he will work with the General Assembly to look for additional budget cuts, look for one-time sources of revenue from special funds that have healthy balances, including the legislative account balances, and look at options for new revenues.
The sources of new revenue the Governor suggested include using money from Sales Tax reform, ending the Sale Tax collection discounts, adopting combined reporting of business revenues, taxing cigars and smokeless tobacco and a Marcellus Shale natural gas production tax to balance the budget, rather than putting many of those revenues in a Transition Fund for when federal stimulus funds end.
The Governor said it was too early to determine whether additional state worker layoffs are necessary.
At a Capitol Hill news conference Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman (R-Centre) announced President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati (R-Jefferson), Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) and he will be sending a formal letter to Gov. Rendell asking him to submit a new state budget reflecting more accurately the declining revenue the state has been receiving. He argued, “We really need to start over, start from scratch and figure out a way to put this budget together on time before June 30 that reflects the revenue we have as opposed to what was projected in February.”
Senate Republican Leaders also put School Boards on notice there are no guarantees of funding levels for the coming year and Superintendents should be “very cautious” when preparing school budgets…the memo came from Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, Majority Floor Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware), Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman (R-Centre) and Education Committee Chairman Jeff Piccola (R-Dauphin).
Senate Democrats, lead by Sen. Michael Stack (D-Philadelphia), sent a letter to Gov. Rendell opposing expanding the sales tax to professional services.
House Democrats Move Tax Bill
House Democrats moved a tax bill-- House Bill 2435 (D.Evans-D-Philadelphia) imposing taxes on tobacco products and a severance tax on natural gas production-- out of the House Appropriations Committee without a single Republican vote.
Rendell Says PA Facing $1.1 Billion Shortfall Rendell: More Taxes Needed To Plug $1 Billion Budget Hole State Budget Deficit Topping $1 Billion Governor Says PA Needs New Taxes To Fill Budget Shortfall