The recent veto, by Governor Wolf, of the Emergency Funding Stop-Gap Budget Bill was unfortunate. SB 1000 was designated to fund education and social services from the beginning of the Wolf budget impasse on July 1 through November 1. Our most vulnerable are increasingly feeling the weight of the impasse and many have been forced to seek loans to continue providing services, and that number will only grow. Unfortunately, those loan fees and interest will ultimately be paid by taxpayers. This is unacceptable.
The goal of the Emergency Funding Bill was to provide much needed relief while the legislature and Governor work towards an agreed upon long-term spending plan.
Time and time again, Governor Wolf has asserted that there is widespread support for massive tax and spending increases. In a conciliatory effort, for the second time this session, the House has agreed to vote on Governor Wolf’s proposed tax increases and spending plan. If these measures pass the House, the Senate will vote a week later. Attached you will find the response letter, to the Governor, from the Republican leadership in the House and Senate, as well as a press release that was distributed to the media.
I also wanted to share with you some of the proposed tax increases in Governor Wolf’s tax plan:
Personal Income tax: Increase from 3.07% to 3.49% (13.7% increase) and extended to include some Pennsylvania Lottery Winnings – New Taxes $1.028 billion
Cigarettes and other tobacco products: Cigarette Tax increase of $1 per pack (up to $2.60), new taxes on chewing tobacco, small cigars and e-cigarettes – New Taxes $347 million
Sales tax: Expand sales tax to cover cable television, dry cleaning, amusements and recreation, and other personal services – New Taxes $263 million
Severance tax: 5% natural gas severance tax plus a 4.7 cents per thousand cubic feet of volume, $225 million will be protected for local governments as an impact fee – New Taxes $99 million
Bank Shares tax: Changes a rate that is assessed on banks and financial institutions – New Taxes $44 million