Despite Name-Calling, Wolf’s Tax Hike is the Largest

The Wolf administration continues to deny basic facts about their original proposed tax hike. Instead of responding with facts, the governor's staff relies on name-calling and personal attacks. The Altoona Mirror published my response (paywall) to the administration's latest attack on CF.

In a recent story about the state budget, Jeff Sheridan, a spokesman for Gov. Tom Wolf, launched personal attacks against the Commonwealth Foundation, while calling factual information we produced “completely false.”

What is Mr. Sheridan disputing? According to the nonpartisan National Association of State Budget Officers (see Table 21 of their Spring 2015 survey of the states), Gov. Wolf’s original proposal for a $4.6 billion tax increase is the largest proposed tax increase in the country—eight times larger than the next-highest increase in Connecticut.

In fact, Wolf’s plan represented a larger tax hike than every other state’s tax increase combined.

Unfortunately for Pennsylvania, Wolf’s press office has a long history of attacking their critics, but a poor record of providing honest information about their harmful tax proposals.

After all, the $4.6 billion tax hike—which would have come to $1,400 per family of four—came straight from the governor’s original budget. All Pennsylvanians benefited when the General Assembly stood firmly against this record-breaking tax increase, which helped earn Wolf the title of most liberal governor in America.

For the governor’s spokesman to deny easily verifiable information and attack the messenger smacks of desperation. What Pennsylvania needs amidst this seven-month budget impasse is honest leadership, not partisanship and petty name-calling.