PA budget has tax breaks…and increases

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania’s package of budget legislation includes new tax breaks for business owners, including on some oil and gas drilling-related expenses, aircraft repair and parts services and mobile telecommunications equipment. However, it also includes various changes that business groups view as tax increases. On Friday, a 165-page bill full of tax code changes was awaiting House Speaker Sam Smith’s signature before it heads to Gov. Tom Corbett after lawmakers approved it earlier this week. The new fiscal year began Monday.

Other tax breaks include an increase of the amount of the operating losses that businesses can deduct and the elimination of inheritance taxes on family-owned businesses. However, lawmakers are also extending the life of the capital stock and franchise tax, albeit at a lower rate, over the protests of the state’s biggest business associations.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration has a bit more time to work on its efforts to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery. PennLive.com reported Friday that Camelot Global Services agreed to extend its bid through July 31. The previous deadline was this weekend. Corbett wants the British firm to run the state’s $3.5 billion lottery system.

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane rejected a proposed contract with Camelot in February. Kane says state law doesn’t allow the governor to privatize management of the lottery. She also says the law doesn’t sanction the expansion of gambling that the contract would permit.  Corbett and his staff have been trying for months to rewrite the deal to overcome Kane’s objections. Corbett has said he believes Camelot can produce higher and more stable lottery profits.

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) – The 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg is bringing crowds and traffic jams to the quaint Pennsylvania city. Community leaders say that traffic was clogged around Gettysburg Friday. Carl Whitehill of the Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau tells the Patriot-News that tourism is on track to meet the $750-million mark that officials had predicted.

 

The National Park Service estimates that approximately 15,000 people took part in the Pickett’s Charge re-enactment and another 20,000 to 25,000 watched. One young man surprised his girlfriend of four years by proposing while both of them were dressed in period garb. The Evening Sun of Hanover reports that 27-year-old Patrick McCarthy proposed to 24-year-old Anna Jennings. He was dressed as a Union soldier and she was dressed as a seamstress.

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