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Kauffman: Budget Proposal Unaffordable for Taxpayers
HARRISBURG – Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) said a budget proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf today that increases spending by nearly $5 billion over the current fiscal year is simply not affordable for the state’s taxpayers.

“There are some noble goals contained in the governor’s proposal, but I have never seen such an ambitious tax-and-spend proposal by a governor – a 16 percent increase in a single year,” Kauffman said. “This proposal would seem to ignore the reality of the average Pennsylvania worker and taxpayer. They are the ones who would have to foot the bill for this new spending.”
Wolf is proposing an increase to the state’s Personal Income Tax from 3.07 percent to 3.7 percent, a 21 percent increase in tax liability. He is also proposing a 10 percent increase in the sales tax to 6.6 percent and plans to apply the tax to more products and services. He would direct a portion of these new revenues to property tax relief.

“He did not promise a dollar-for-dollar shift, nor did he advocate for any taxpayer protections, as it appears his property tax relief proposal generates more revenue than it would actually return to property taxpayers,” Kauffman said. “This is the kind of proposal that may sound good in soundbites, but the devil is in the details.”

Additional taxes being proposed by Wolf include an increase in the cigarette tax, a new tax on other tobacco products and the application of a severance tax on natural gas drilling. The governor also plans significant new borrowing, including $3 billion for paying down a portion of school employee pension liabilities, $675 million for a new economic development program and another $500 million for water and wastewater facilities.

“Despite the many areas in which we disagree, I am certain that the Republican-led legislature will work with Gov. Wolf to enact a commonsense spending plan which acknowledges that the hard-working taxpayers of Pennsylvania are already overtaxed,” he concluded.

Now that the governor’s budget has been introduced, the House and Senate Appropriations committees will convene a series of hearings over the next three weeks to take a closer look at the proposal. A final budget is due by the end of the current fiscal year, June 30.

For additional information about the budget, visit
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