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Pennsylvania hotel tax hike nears House vote in budget fight

MARC LEVY, Associated Press

HARRISBURG — A plan to nearly double Pennsylvania’s state hotel tax rate could get a final vote in the state House of Representatives as lawmakers scrounge for cash to break a three-month budget stalemate.

The plan on tap Wednesday would boost the state hotel tax rate to 11 percent from 6 percent. It would give Philadelphia and Pittsburgh the nation’s first- and second-highest hotel taxes, when combined with local hotel taxes.

The proposal blindsided tourism and hotel advocacy groups. They say they’ll have a harder time attracting big groups, like conventions.

It emerged after a tide of opposition drowned a proposed tax on commercial warehousing and House GOP leaders blocked a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf isn’t saying whether he supports it, and says he still prefers a Marcellus Shale tax.