Senate Republican leaders today called Governor Wolf’s massive tax and spend budget proposal “dead on arrival” in the Senate, saying it is out of touch with Pennsylvanians and small businesses that are struggling to survive during the COVID-19 crisis.
Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-34), Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-39) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Pat Browne (R-16) said his plan to increase spending by more than $3 billion – the largest proposed increase in history – is unacceptable and could further hurt the state’s struggling economy. His personal income tax hike would increase the amount of state tax paid out of many Pennsylvanians’ paychecks by a staggering 46 percent, at a time when many residents are barely making ends meet. They offered the following statements on the budget.
Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-34): “This proposed budget shows the disdain Governor Wolf and his Democrat allies have for middle-class families and the small businesses that employ them. Calling this a tax cut is laughable and an affront to small employers and other Pennsylvanians who have struggled to stay afloat under the Wolf Administration’s misguided, arbitrary and authoritarian edicts. The big box stores do not care about increases to the personal income tax or the minimum wage. The mom-and-pop stores will bear the brunt of this proposal. Small employers and middle-class families are what drives economic recoveries. Governor Wolf has put yet another target on their backs.”
Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-39): “Governor Wolf’s progressive tax proposal is exactly what we predicted. Increasing taxes on productive Pennsylvanians. Doing this after closures and restrictions have already devastated our economy is absurd.”
Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Pat Browne (R-16): “The Governor could not have picked a worse time to propose a 46.3 percent increase in the personal income tax given the struggles Pennsylvanians continue to face during the worst pandemic of our lifetime. This major tax increase and massive spending plan will devastate working families and small business owners, many who already cannot afford their current tax burden, are unemployed or have been forced to close their business. Now more than ever, we need to develop a budget that is fiscally responsible and that helps keep businesses open and employees working, creates jobs and rebuilds our economy.”