– Following the governor’s budget address today before a joint session of the House and Senate in Harrisburg, Rep. Lee James (R-Venango/Butler) said the proposal and its various tax increases would unravel past moves to bring state government spending under control.
“I don’t believe the governor’s budget proposal is something working Pennsylvanians can afford,” James said. “Reckless government taxing and spending hurts our economy and destroys job opportunities for workers. The governor’s plan would place a heavy burden on Pennsylvania taxpayers.”
The governor’s plan calls for $33.8 billion in spending, which would amount to a 16 percent increase compared to the current state budget.
The plan also calls for $4.7 billion in tax hikes. The state sales tax would increase by 10 percent, from 6 percent to 6.6 percent, to bring in an additional $1.55 billion in tax revenue. It also would increase the Personal Income Tax from $3.07 to 3.7 percent, representing a tax increase of more than $2.4 billion.
“It took former-Governor Ed Rendell – arguably one of the most liberal spending governors in Pennsylvania – eight years to increase state spending by approximately $8 billion,” James said. “The current governor wants to increase state spending by nearly $5 billion in a single year.”
While the governor’s tax increase proposals dismayed him, James did say there was at least one positive initiative in the administration’s budget. The plan calls for a reduction in Pennsylvania’s Corporate Net Income Tax, which would reduce the rate from 9.99 percent to 4.99 percent during the next several years.
“We need to create a more hospitable environment for job creators in Pennsylvania,” said James, who spent more than 40 years as a private businessman before entering the state Legislature. “Reducing this one tax rate would be a major step in that direction.”
James noted the governor’s budget proposal marks the beginning of the months-long process. The House and Senate will hold hearings to uncover the details in the spending plan and propose improvements and alterations.
“The governor’s budget proposal represents his point of view,” James said. “The Legislature will review the proposal in the weeks ahead and we’ll alter it to reflect the views of the people we represent. This is the start of a long and detailed negotiation process that will take place throughout the spring and into the summer.”
Residents can learn more about James by visiting his website at www.RepJames.com
and following him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/RepJames
Representative Lee James
64th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Dan Massing