– On Tuesday, March 3, Gov. Tom Wolf addressed a joint session of the General Assembly in issuing his spending plan for the 2015-16 fiscal year. The Wolf budget proposal calls for $33.8 billion in total spending. That figure represents an unprecedented tax increase and a 16 percent or $4.6 billion overall spending increase over the current fiscal year.
State Rep. Marcia Hahn (R-Bushkill Township) issued the following statement in response to Wolf’s plan:
“There has rarely been a final budget that looked remotely similar to the sitting governor’s budget address. It is essential that we keep that in mind when evaluating Governor Tom Wolf’s speech to the General Assembly on March 3. What he laid out is certainly ambitious and definitely turned heads when he began to lay things out.
“He surely got the attention of my constituents in the 138th District when he discussed property taxes, the No. 1 issue in the Lehigh Valley. Attempts have been made to reform the system, but this governor sounds serious about accomplishing something.
“Therein lies the problem. What he hopes to do and the method by which he plans to attain it don’t match up. The goal of cutting property taxes in half does not sit well with local residents who want complete elimination. Furthermore, the math he’s using to get to the 50 percent figure doesn’t add up.
“I also have concerns about the proposed Marcellus Shale severance tax and how it will impact our region. While not in the shale belt, Northampton County has received more than $790,000 over a three-year period under Act 13, the impact fee agreement reached in 2012. That money goes to projects such as water system improvements and road repairs. We have no guarantees Act 13 money will still exist if a severance tax is enacted.
“The governor’s proposal is a starting point, and I look forward to hearing from my constituents about it.”
Questions about this or any legislative issue should be directed to Hahn’s district office at (610) 746-2100.
Representative Marcia Hahn
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little