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Senator Camera Bartolotta

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Camera Bartolotta

Wolf Budget Calls for Billions in New Spending and Taxes

Senator Camera Bartolotta

I have deep concerns with what I heard in Governor Wolf’s remarks today. His proposal calls for billions of dollars in new government spending and taxes, including a nearly $2 billion increase in the Personal Income Tax.

I share the governor’s desire to address the state’s structural deficit and strengthen our economy. However, I fundamentally disagree that we can only solve these problems with massive increases in taxes on hardworking Pennsylvania families and small businesses. Taxpayers expect lawmakers to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of state government and pass commonsense measures to generate revenue without burdening the taxpayer. A perfect example would be getting the state out of the liquor business by privatizing the liquor stores. Governor Wolf’s budget comes nowhere close to meeting this standard.

It is also deeply disappointing and frustrating that Governor Wolf continues to push for a natural gas extraction tax at a time when it makes the least economic sense to even consider such a proposal. I have personally seen the thousands of jobs lost in my district as natural gas companies have been forced to lay off workers due to low gas prices and policies that inhibit progress. Enacting a new tax on top of the hundreds of millions of dollars the industry already pays in taxes and Impact Fees puts these great job providers on the fast track out of Pennsylvania.

What families and taxpayers deserve is for the Governor to sign a budget that funds essential services, promotes government efficiency and supports business and job growth. Governor Wolf’s budget falls short of meeting these criteria. I can only hope that he is willing to work with both parties to find a solution that moves Pennsylvania forward.

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