Mar. 03, 2015

HARRISBURG – Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Berks/Lehigh) said that while Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal focused on many of the right spending priorities, the suggested tax increases would negatively impact everyday Pennsylvanians.
“I appreciate that he devoted much of his address to strengthening education and lowering property taxes. These are the right priorities, but he seeks to achieve them via the wrong means – namely, higher taxes on the middle class,” said Mackenzie. “I am also pleased that the governor recognizes that our high corporate income tax rates serve as an obstacle to job creation.”
Wolf has proposed $4.7 billion in new taxes, mostly in in the form of increased sales taxes ($2.4 billion) and personal income taxes ($1.6 billion).
Mackenzie noted that although the governor claims that spending under his proposal would only increase by 2 percent to $29.8 billion, Wolf’s figures are misleading.
“The governor’s proposal shifts $3.9 billion in new spending into restricted accounts that aren’t specifically counted as ‘the budget,’” said Mackenzie. “In reality, Governor Wolf has proposed $33.8 billion in spending – an increase of 16 percent, or 10 times the rate of inflation. I am very concerned that the weight of this massive expansion of state government would be disproportionately borne by middle class Pennsylvanians.”
Under Wolf’s proposal, the sales tax would be increased by 10 percent. It would be extended to many items currently untaxed, including baby diapers, day care services, student textbooks, nursing home services and medical supplies like walkers, wheelchairs and crutches for individuals with special needs. The income tax would be increased by 20 percent, hitting all working Pennsylvanians and small business owners.
“The governor’s proposal is only a starting point,” said Mackenzie. “The task for lawmakers will be to carefully weigh the merits of each of the items he has proposed, adopting ones that positive while working to protect Pennsylvania’s taxpayers.”
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Representative Ryan Mackenzie
134th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Ryan Travis
717.260.6335 /