Wolf seeks $4.5B capital program paid by Marcellus Shale tax

The Associated Press
FILE - This Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, file photo shows the Pennsylvania Capitol building in Harrisburg. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf is planning to ask lawmakers to approve a severance tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production to finance a multibillion-dollar capital plan for a wide range of projects, from controlling floodwaters to fighting blight.

Wolf, a Democrat, is unveiling the plan Thursday, which his administration says is packaged with a proposal for a Marcellus Shale tax for a fifth straight year.

This time Wolf wants to use the money to pay down a $4.5 billion bond that the administration would spend over four years on projects including expanding high-speed internet access, improving flood control and cleaning up brownfields and blight in hopes of luring new businesses

Approval will be up to the Republican-controlled Legislature, which has thus far rejected Wolf’s overtures for a natural gas tax.

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