Wolf’s Tax Hikes: Version 3.0

Today, Gov. Wolf unveiled a 3rd proposal for a tax increase.

This represents both good news and bad news for taxpayers. The good news is that Wolf now concedes that he lacked support for either his original budget proposal or his September proposal.

The bad news: Wolf’s plan still calls for higher taxes on working families. And lawmakers plan to vote on this tax hike tomorrow!

The new tax hike plan calls for raising the personal income tax from 3.07 percent to 3.57 percent—a 16 percent increase in taxes on working families—along with a severance tax on natural gas. This would be in addition to the existing impact fee.

The income tax represents 95 percent of his tax hike in the first year, and 84 percent of the full $2.4 billion annual tax increase.

On net, this tax hike would cost taxpayers $744 more per year per family of four when fully implemented.

Gov. Wolf's Proposed Tax Changes
Item 2015-16 2016-17
State Tax Rate Changes Total Revenue Per Family of Four Total Revenue Per Family of Four
Severance Tax of 3.5% and 4.7 cents per MCF – Jan 1, 2016 (on top of existing impact fee) $67,000 $21 $389,000 $122
Personal Income Tax Rate Increase to 3.57% – October 1, 2015 $1,400,000 $438 $2,100,000 $657
Income Tax Forgiveness Program ($84,000) ($26) ($111,000) ($35)
Total State Tax Increases $1,383,000 $433 $2,378,000 $744

Instead of offering property tax reductions for all homeowners, as his original tax plan did, Wolf’s new proposal would fund a program offering relief to low-income seniors and disabled homeowners—and not until July 2017 (two years after tax hikes start).

Additionally, reports from the capitol indicate Gov. Wolf is trying to trade favors—releasing funding for projects in districts if lawmakers support his plan.

Rep. Russ Diamond, R-Lebanon, said he was shocked when a staffer in Wolf's legislative affairs office offered a meeting on the tax plan last week and then mentioned he heard there was a transportation project Diamond wanted state grant funding for. 

Wolf clarified Monday that he is not making direct offers of state projects or grants from programs controlled by the executive branch for votes for his tax plan, but added “I will be a lot more sympathetic, if decisions have to come, to people who I think have seen Pennsylvania's needs and requirements more honestly than those who don't.”

Wolf is burning up the phones calling lawmakers; it is important they hear from you as well.

Join us in telling your legislators and Gov. Wolf—No New Taxes!