Yesterday, Gov. Tom Wolf indicated he would not propose an income tax or a sales tax increase as part of his next budget. This comes as something of a surprise, given the past two budgets and the current state deficit.
To be clear, this doesn’t take other tax hikes off the table—last year the legislature passed $650 million in tax increases on cigarettes, tobacco, vaping products, and digital downloads and Gov. Wolf has continually supported an additional tax on natural gas. Nonetheless, sales and income taxes have been the 800-pound gorilla and the elephant in the room in the last two budget proposals, so taking them off the table at this stage should be considered a welcome relief to taxpayers who are already overburdened with taxes.
Gov. Wolf indicated he would try to balance next year’s budget by reducing spending and adopting innovative reforms.
Here’s some great news: Commonwealth Foundation just released a new brief outlining spending reforms—both short-term and long-term—that can help control state spending and deliver greater economic growth and prosperity to all Pennsylvanians.
A promise to avoid major tax increases—by reforming our state budget to control spending growth—is a nice stocking stuffer for Pennsylvania families this holiday season.