Op-Ed: Wolf’s budget hits Philly while it’s still down

Originally published at Broad + Liberty.

It’s no secret that Philadelphia has been hit hard by the coronavirus and lockdowns. It was one of the first counties to lock down and one of the last counties to begin taking steps toward reopening through Governor Tom Wolf’s phased plan. That means local businesses and workers in the state’s most populated municipality have endured the most time without making money.

And just when many were starting to think the worst was behind us, Wolf gave his annual budget address last week. Based on his proposals, the city’s residents and businesses might be hit again.

As it stands, the governor’s budget proposal includes a plan to increase the personal income tax (PIT) from the current rate of 3.07 percent to 4.49 percent. He includes increases in income “allowances,” which he says will result in a tax reduction for the “working class.” In reality, according to U.S. Census data, the median household would see a tax increase across most major household categories.

For Philadelphians, a state income tax hike is an even bigger worry than it is for most other Pennsylvanians. Philadelphia is the fifth highest-taxed urban area in the country, barely lower than places like New York City and San Francisco. Apart from the local sales tax, Wolf’s proposal would increase the total income tax for Philadelphians from under 7 percent to over 8 percent.

During his address, Wolf said

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