– While he only took the oath of office in January, state Rep. Barry Jozwiak (R-Berks) has learned enough in his short tenure in state government to realize the $33.8 billion state budget proposal outlined today in Harrisburg by the governor is little more than an opening offer.
“The governor had an opportunity today to lay out his agenda. The House and Senate will now review that proposal and alter it to reflect our priorities,” Jozwiak said. “The governor’s budget address is an opening offer in a negotiation that takes months to complete.”
Jozwiak said he was pleased the governor included the important issue of property taxes in his budget proposal. The governor’s plan would raise the state Personal Income Tax from 3.07 percent to 3.70 percent, which would result in $2.4 billion in new tax revenues. His proposal would return some – but not all – of that revenue to homeowners through property tax relief.
“The good news is the governor is thinking about property taxes. The bad news is he’s not looking to completely replace them,” Jozwiak said. “The governor’s proposal would be a net tax increase, which is something previous property tax plans have tried to avoid.”
The governor’s budget also calls for a 10 percent increase in the state sales tax, which would raise the rate from 6 percent to 6.6 percent and bring in an additional $1.55 billion in tax revenues. None of those new dollars would be used to replace school property taxes.
“I’m not sure how much support the governor will receive for his sales tax increase unless he is willing to use the revenues to replace property taxes,” Jozwiak said.
The governor’s budget plan calls for $4.7 billion in total tax increases, which would help raise overall state budget spending to $33.8 billion. That would represent a 16 percent increase compared to the current state budget.
“Most Pennsylvania families have not seen their incomes grow by 16 percent in the past year,” Jozwiak said. “That much of an increase would be a hard thing to sell to working families that are struggling to make ends meet.”
Residents can learn more about Jozwiak at www.RepJozwiak.com
and can follow him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/RepJozwiak
Representative Barry Jozwiak
5th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Dan Massing