How Does Gov. Wolf’s Tax Plan Stand Up?
How out of whack is Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed $4.6 billion tax increase? Pretty far out there compared with the rest of the nation, according to a new report from the National Association of State Budget Officers.
Governors in 16 states proposed net tax and fee increases, while governors in 12 states proposed net decreases in fiscal 2016, resulting in an aggregate net increase of $3.0 billion. For the most part, increases were proposed for general sales taxes and cigarette taxes – ten states recommended a sales tax increase and nine states recommended increased taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products. Meanwhile, a dozen states proposed decreases for personal income taxes. Pennsylvania was the largest driver of the net increase, recommending $4.6 billion in tax and fee increases for fiscal 2016, followed by Connecticut and Alabama.
Not only was Pennsylvania a “driver” of state tax increases, Gov. Wolf’s proposed tax increase is greater than the total for the rest of the country—which is a net tax decrease. In fact, Gov. Wolf’s proposed increase of $4.6 billion is 8 times the next highest (Connecticut).
The chart below shows NASBO’s compilation of net tax increases for fiscal year 2016, and Pennsylvania stands out like Shaquille O’Neal at a preschool.