– Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin) today issued the following statement after listening to Gov. Tom Wolf introduce his 2015-16 budget plan before a joint session of the General Assembly:
“My first impression of the governor’s budget proposal is that I appreciated his optimism, and that he has values and conviction. I am concerned that his principles won’t line up well with most taxpayers in the 125th District. We agree on the principle that Pennsylvania needs schools that teach, jobs that pay, and a government that works. Where we differ is how we achieve those goals.
“The governor spoke about reducing personal taxes by 13 percent, property taxes by 50 percent, increasing pension payments and increasing education funding. My fear is that it’s unrealistic. His proposal increases spending by more than 15 percent, more than $4.7 billion in one year. It increases taxes on income, sales and energy. I’m afraid that he wants to move away from on-time, responsible budgets, without huge tax increases, to out-of-control spending.
“We need to adequately fund our public education system. We have to keep the promises we made, but we also have to be good stewards of every taxpayer dollar we collect. Giving everyone more sounds great until you have to pay the bill. We have rising costs that we can’t ignore and we can’t just send more of our tax dollars to pay the pension costs in failing urban school districts.
“He only spoke briefly about expenses in the address today, but pension reform is definitely a budget issue. One thing everyone knows for sure is that meaningful pension reform isn’t shifting our expense from one pocket to the other, and borrowing $3 billion to fix a problem that is more than $50 billion. That’s not pension reform, but that’s what is proposed in Governor Wolf’s budget.”
For the latest information about the budget process, visit www.RepTobash.com
Representative Mike Tobash
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Krisinda Corbin