The Morning Call
October 2, 2009
The state House signed off on a $1 billion tax bill late tonight that imposes new taxes on natural gas, boosts the state cigarette tax while levying new taxes on cigars and smokeless tobacco, and slaps a 34 percent tax on yet-to-be legalized table games at Pennsylvania's slot machine casinos.
The party-line, 103-98, vote came after five hours of sometimes acrimonious, and occasionally bitter, debate that saw majority Democrats trade jabs with Republicans over whose vision was the better to guide the state through uncertain economic waters.
The bill now goes to the majority-Republican Senate, which has said it opposes Democratic plans to impose a "severance" tax on natural gas that's extracted from the Marcellus shale deposits in northern and western Pennsylvania.
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