Pennsylvania budget talks eye limits on school tax increases

Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Discussion about a budget deal in Pennsylvania includes tougher restrictions on school property tax increases, while chances are dimming that a deal will include a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production sought by Gov. Tom Wolf.

House Democratic Whip Mike Hanna said Monday that leaders of the Legislature's Republican majorities remain unwilling to support a Marcellus Shale tax.

Under a 2012 law, the industry has paid a drilling impact fee of about $200 million a year.

Meanwhile, negotiators are discussing measures to further limit the ability of school boards to raise taxes. That's part of a budget-related package under discussion to offset school property tax cuts by raising state taxes.

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association says that ignores the underlying problem of inadequate state funding for schools.