Adams-York County House Members Oppose Middle-Class ‘Pay Cut,’ Vote Down Wolf Tax Proposal
HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf’s latest attempt to raise taxes on Pennsylvanians was defeated in the state House today by a bipartisan vote of 73-127. The amendment to House Bill 283 would have increased the Personal Income Tax (PIT) from 3.07 percent to 3.57 percent, imposed a 3.5 percent severance tax on natural gas drillers and expanded the state’s existing Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

State House Reps. Seth Grove (R-Dover), Kate Klunk (R-Hanover), Dan Moul (R-Gettysburg), Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York Township), Mike Regan (R-Dillsburg), Stan Saylor (R-Red Lion) and Will Tallman (R-Abbottstown) issued the following statement after the vote:

“From day one, the governor has been pushing for more money for education, support for hard-working middle class families and statewide property tax relief. His latest budget proposal did nothing to support any of those efforts, which is why it was defeated today.

“His attempt to make natural gas companies pay ‘their fair share’ offered no guarantee the resulting tax revenue, a mere $200 million, would find its way out of Harrisburg to our schools. What the tax would guarantee is higher utility bills for everyone, especially low income families who traditionally spend a very high percentage of what they receive on their energy needs. It would also make Pennsylvania more business unfriendly by imposing the country’s highest energy tax (severance plus impact fee), resulting in even more jobs driven away.

“Gov. Wolf’s proposed PIT hike, which makes up nearly 90 percent of the total funding, would have asked hard-working, middle-class families to take a pay cut in order to grow the size of government while offering nothing in return. While expanding the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is admirable, we wish he would push for passage of House Bill 504. This legislation increases the sales tax and PIT in exchange for statewide dollar-for-dollar property tax relief. The bill passed the House in May with bipartisan support and sits with the Senate Finance Committee.

“If he wants more money for education, the governor should endorse legislation that addresses the unfunded burdens placed on school districts. House Bill 1119 relieves our public schools of costly and unnecessary mandates for which federal and state government is responsible. Prevailing wage legislation addresses the escalating price of school construction projects.

“The governor proposed taxing our way to a false prosperity, which will inevitably lead to tax increases down the road. We prefer closing the budget gap by streamlining state government and making it more efficient. Liquor privatization that Pennsylvanians demand and deserve is one example of that effort. House Bill 11, which confronts government waste by reducing the size of government and its associated costs, is another.

“Today’s vote mimicked the June 1 vote on the more extensive tax increase the governor was pursuing at the time. His defeat of the June 30 budget bill, Aug. 25 attempted veto override and Sept. 30 emergency funding legislation leaves Pennsylvania in a predicament. Now more than ever, it is incumbent on the governor to work with us on a compromise budget proposal that protects taxpayers and ensures economic prosperity for Pennsylvania.”

York County House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little