Senator Pat Stefano issued the following statement in response to Governor Wolf’s proposed 2015-16 state budget, which was unveiled today.
“Last year when I campaigned for the Senate, I knocked on more than 17,000 doors and not one of the folks I talked to asked me to raise their taxes.
The Governor’s proposed 2015-16 budget includes a massive $4.7 billion tax increase that will be paid for by Pennsylvanians and businesses that already are struggling to make ends meet.
Many families, especially in my district, are struggling pay for child care, groceries, basic utilities, and their mortgage. Now Gov. Wolf wants them to pay even more to Harrisburg. His proposal to increase energy taxes will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher energy bills and higher costs for goods.
The Governor’s proposed 20.5 percent increase in the Personal Income Tax will cut deeply into family budgets and seriously impact our small businesses, which are the economic engines of our communities.
The Governor’s energy tax will only shutdown Natural Gas development, costing Pennsylvania jobs and not delivering the revenues that have been promised.
We also need to reform the state pension system, which is driving up property taxes. Unless we do that, we are simply filling a leaky bucket. To be clear, I will not consider any new revenues until our pension system is fixed.
Finally, Pennsylvanians deserve real property tax reform, which means elimination. If we do not eliminate property taxes, our constituents will pay higher income taxes and sales and use taxes, while also paying higher energy costs and continuing to face the prospect of property tax hikes.
I ran for office with a message of reforming government, controlling taxes and limiting spending. I cannot support a budget that takes money out of the hands of hard-working Pennsylvanians and sends billions more to Harrisburg.”
Ben Wren (717) 787-7175