Mar. 03, 2015

HARRISBURG – Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny/Washington) today called the $4.7 billion in tax hikes proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf “irresponsible” and vowed to strongly oppose them in the Legislature.
“Teacher unions contributed roughly $1.5 million to Governor Wolf’s election campaign, and now he wants to reward them with a multibillion dollar payback on the taxpayers’ dime,” said Saccone. “He wants to allocate an additional $1.8 billion for teacher pensions without adopting any pension reform whatsoever. This is outrageous. Pension costs are crippling our school districts and crushing property owners. His proposal is completely irresponsible.”
The massive tax hikes outlined by Wolf are intended to grow government spending by 16 percent, or nearly 10 times the rate of inflation.
“There doesn’t seem to be anything this governor won’t tax,” said Saccone. “His proposal would slap taxes on diapers, day care, nursing home expenses – even walkers and wheelchairs!”
Though the governor claims that spending would only increase by 2 percent to $29.8 billion, Saccone said Wolf’s figures are grossly misleading.
“The governor is relying on gimmicks to shift billions into accounts that aren’t technically classified as ‘the budget.’ The massive spending increases are still there, but they would be hidden from the actual budget document.”
Among the tax hikes Wolf proposed in his $4.7 billion money grab include: 
Raising Pennsylvania’s Personal Income Tax by 17 percent.
Increasing the state Sales Tax by 9 percent, taxing currently untaxed items like textbooks, daycare expenses and home medical devices like wheelchairs and walkers.
Hiking cigarette taxes by $1 a pack.
Raising taxes on currently untaxed tobacco products by $80 million.
Increasing the Bank Shares Tax by $340 million.
Establishing a new $117 million tax on Marcellus Shale extraction.
“The governor offered another payback to his union contributors by refusing to privatize state liquor stores,” added Saccone. “Hundreds of millions in revenue would be available if we sold the state stores, but Governor Wolf would rather continue the archaic system of government liquor sales that the people reject in order to protect lucrative public jobs of union members.”
Saccone further criticized the governor’s proposal to reduce property taxes.
Said Saccone, “The governor says he intends to raise sales taxes and income taxes to offer property tax relief, but this, too, is an illusion. He is taking the revenue stream we have been supporting in House Bill 76 to eliminate school property taxes and instead spending most of the money elsewhere. This would provide only partial property tax relief. This is right out of the old Rendell casino scam, and taxpayers will not fall for that again. Unless school property taxes are completely eliminated – something so far he will not support – they would only creep right back up again. His property tax proposal is a scam similar to the casinos.”
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Representative Rick Saccone
39th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Ryan Travis, 717.260.6335 /