Pennsylvania Budget

The Pennsylvania Capitol building is seen in Harrisburg, July 10.

Associated Press

HARRISBURG — A Republican plan to nearly double Pennsylvania's state hotel tax rate is getting a cool reception from rank-and-file members of the House of Representatives as lawmakers scrounge for cash to break a three-month state budget stalemate.

A plan to vote on the proposal Wednesday appeared to be in trouble. House Democratic leaders say it's unclear how many of their members or Republicans will support it.

Philadelphia-area Republicans as well as those from Hershey and the Pocono Mountains are opposing it for fear that their areas will have a harder time attracting big groups, like conventions.

It would boost the state hotel tax rate to 11 percent from 6 percent, giving Philadelphia and Pittsburgh the nation's first- and second-highest hotel taxes, when combined with local hotel taxes.

The Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association sent a letter to legislators Tuesday afternoon addressing the rumor of a hotel tax increase, and urging against it. At 11 percent, the new tax rate would be the highest lodging-specific tax in the nation, the PRLA said.

Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Carlisle) said he opposed the warehousing and hotel tax ideas.

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