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Lancaster County House Republican Delegation Opposes Gov. Wolf’s Tax Increases
HARRISBURG- The Lancaster County House Republican Delegation today voted to oppose Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed tax increases on hard-working Pennsylvanians. Wolf proposed a 16 percent increase in the Personal Income Tax and an effective 14 percent tax rate on natural gas drilling operations. The governor’s proposals were opposed by 127 members and supported by 73 members; Gov. Wolf did not receive unanimous support from House Democrats.

State Reps. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom), Mindy Fee (R-Manheim), Keith J. Greiner (R-Upper Leacock), Dave Hickernell (R-West Donegal), Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz), Brett Miller (R-East Hempfield) and Dave Zimmerman (R-East Earl) issued the following statement following today’s vote:

“Today, we voted to oppose Gov. Wolf’s proposed Personal Income Tax increases, which would affect every worker and more than 80 percent of small businesses across the Commonwealth. The increase would squeeze the budgets of middle-class Pennsylvanians and further hurt those who are struggling to make ends meet. It is the first time that Gov. Wolf has actually introduced any part of his proposed budget as legislation that could be debated and voted on in the light of day.

“With today’s vote, Pennsylvanians know the truth about Gov. Wolf’s proposals. For months the governor has crisscrossed the state misleading the public on his tax plans, with the constant refrain of: “Marcellus shale tax for education.” Now, the public can finally see who is paying Wolf’s tax bill - 95 percent of Wolf’s tax hike - $1.4 billion – will be paid by the middle class through income tax increases.

“Sadly, though, we had to endure continued falsehoods in today’s debate. Wolf is saying he eliminates property taxes for some people, and that is not true. His proposal takes the existing Property Tax/Rent Rebate program and redirects new tax money to it, which is taken from the very people it gives it back to. How disingenuous is that?

“As a delegation, we have continued to fight for real dollar-for-dollar property tax relief and have voted to eliminate property taxes. Wolf’s proposal on property taxes would not go into effect until 2017 and it would do nothing to stop property taxes from continuing to rise. Wolf’s proposals have also failed to recognize the importance of implementing meaningful pension reform.

“On a natural gas extraction tax, we were also treated to more smoke and mirrors regarding Wolf’s shale tax shell game. Right now, Pennsylvania’s tax on natural gas drillers brings in $220 million per year. Wolf wants to add to that and make Pennsylvania’s the highest natural gas tax in the nation, with an effective tax rate of 14 percent. The result would be to force the natural gas industry to other states, a loss of good-paying jobs and increased energy prices to consumers.

“There is no support for broad-based tax increases; today’s vote proves that. There is no support for Gov. Wolf’s status quo- punishing hard-working taxpayers to prop up Pennsylvania’s archaic pension and liquor systems. We voted against the governor’s tax proposal because the choice to raise taxes should be the last choice, not the first in solving budget issues. It is time that he joins us in supporting a commonsense budget that truly reforms state pensions, privatizes our liquor system and provides significant investment in education.”

Lancaster County House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Eric Reath

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