HARRISBURG – Concerned over the impact on hard-working residents of her district, Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin/Lebanon) said she cannot support the tax increases included in Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2015-16 budget proposal. The governor unveiled his $33.8 billion spending plan on Tuesday before a joint session of the General Assembly.
The governor called for $4.7 billion in additional state spending and would help pay for it by raising the Personal Income Tax by 21 percent and the sales tax by 10 percent. His proposal also imposes a 7.5 percent severance tax on the natural gas industry.
Helm released the following statement regarding the proposed state budget:
“I give credit to the governor for a budget address that was refreshing and optimistic. However, the devil is in the details. His plan to increase state spending by 16 percent and expect taxpayers to accept it is simply out of touch. Many constituents in the 104th District struggle to pay their bills and can’t afford the sizable tax hikes the governor is proposing.
“Property tax relief is the No. 1 issue in the district and his reform plan is promising. But are we truly making a difference for homeowners who might end up paying higher income and sales taxes in the end?
“I am always open to compromise and look forward to crafting a spending plan that works for all Pennsylvanians without causing them further hardship.”
Helm pointed out the governor’s address was just the start of the budget process. Three weeks of hearings, conducted by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, will begin on Monday, March 9, where representatives from state departments and agencies will be questioned about their spending requests. The state constitution requires that a budget be adopted by June 30.
For more information on Helm and her legislative priorities, please visit SueHelm.net
Representative Sue Helm
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs