– Rep. Joe Hackett (R-Delaware) released the following statement following Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address to the Legislature. Wolf proposed a budget that includes spending of $33.8 billion, an increase in spending of 16 percent over this fiscal year:
“While it was no surprise that the Governor proposed a 5 percent severance tax on the shale industry, since I have been a strong advocate of that since 2008, I believe the money should be used directly for property tax relief.
“It is encouraging to know the Governor is on board with lowering Pennsylvania’s second highest-in-the-nation Corporate Net Income Tax of 9.99 percent. This reduction, along with the phasing down of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax we passed last session, will help to lure new businesses into the Commonwealth and spur growth of those already here.
“However, I cannot and will not support the Governor’s proposals to raise and expand the state sales tax and increase the personal earned income tax. This is a direct attack on Pennsylvania’s hard working middle class and it is neither fair nor realistic. Further, the Governor proposed an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. I’ve spoken with small business leaders throughout our community and they simply cannot afford this drastic of an increase. Besides, if the Governor increases the minimum wage while simultaneously increasing the earned income tax, he will essentially take the “raise” from low-income workers and use it to fund his special interest projects.
“The ball is now in the legislature’s court as the House and Senate hold budget hearings to break down this proposal line-by-line. I will work with House Leadership and the Appropriations Committee to ensure that the final budget best serves the residents of the 161st District with a fiscally responsible balance of spending and needs.”
Representative Joe Hackett
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster