|Rep. Mauree Gingrich (R-Lebanon) joins House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) and her House colleagues at a news conference following Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address.
– Rep. Mauree Gingrich (R-Lebanon) said she believes Gov. Tom Wolf’s $33.8 billion budget proposal takes aim at Pennsylvania taxpayers and could derail the state’s economic progress.
“The governor’s plan raises state spending by an unprecedented $4.7 billion, and proposes a corresponding increase in tax revenue to cover the cost of expenditures,” said Gingrich. “I believe this budget would have a negative impact on working families. The governor proposes to raise $1.6 billion by increasing the state sales tax to 6.6 percent. The proposal would also expand the tax to more than 300 additional items and services that families use every day, such as child care, diapers, haircuts and over-the-counter medications to name only a few.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy,” said Gingrich. “By increasing the Personal Income Tax by an unprecedented $2.4 billion, the governor’s proposal would have a chilling effect on attracting, retaining and growing small businesses in Pennsylvania.”
Another area of concern is health care.
“The governor’s plan puts Pennsylvania on an unsustainable course with regard to Medicaid, particularly with the challenges of the Affordable Health Care Act,” Gingrich said. “Medicaid expansion will exacerbate the fiscal demands as we attempt to meet our obligations to a rapidly aging population and citizens with disabilities.”
Gingrich said she was pleased to learn the governor is interested in solving the property tax situation, but she said the issue that stands to have the greatest impact on the state budget was all but ignored in the governor’s address today. The public pension systems are carrying an unfunded liability of more than $50 billion.
“The increases in state spending are certainly alarming, but the governor’s budget is only the starting point for negotiations,” said Gingrich. “With budget hearings set to begin next week, the General Assembly will have an opportunity to meet with state departments, agencies and other stakeholders and put together a more realistic list of budget priorities.”
Representative Mauree Gingrich
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Donna Pinkham