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Tom Wolf on Tax Reform

 

 


Cut property tax; raise sales tax & income tax

My budget reduces the total tax burden on average middle-class homeowners by 13 percent. Overall, my budget will reduce the average homeowner's property taxes by 50 percent, putting more than $1,000 each year in their pockets. This will ease the burden on low income and middle-class homeowners. And it will bring some much-needed relief to seniors living on fixed incomes, some of whom have been forced to leave homes they have lived in their entire lives because they cannot afford higher property taxes.

In fact, under my plan, many senior citizens will see their property taxes eliminated altogether. My plan raises the personal income tax to 3.7 percent. And it will make up for lost revenue by increasing the sales tax from 6 to 6.6 percent, while broadening the base to include services that currently are not taxed because special interest groups have lobbied for special exemptions. These changes will allow us to make a historic commitment to our schools.

Source: State of the State address to 2015 Pennsylvania Legislature , Mar 3, 2015

Schools need sustainable funding source, not cigarette tax

Following Gov. Corbett's decision to advance funds to the Philadelphia School District and urge legislators to pass the cigarette tax, Tom Wolf released the following statement:

After four years of underfunding our schools, Governor Corbett is playing political games while still avoiding the tough decisions. The funding announced today is only an advance on money already owed; it is not a restoration of the funding Governor Corbett has taken from our schools, and it does nothing to close the Philadelphia School District's $81 million budget gap. Without new, sustainable funding, more than 1,000 school district employees are at risk of losing their jobs, class sizes will increase, and children will return to schools that the superintendent has described as unsafe.

Philadelphia schools should never have been placed in a position where they have to rely on cash advances and cigarette taxes, but Governor Corbett's complete mismanagement has forced the school district into turmoil.

Source: 2014 Gubernatorial campaign website press release, WolfForPA , Aug 6, 2014

Shift income tax burden to higher earners

All four Democratic candidates would seek to impose a severance tax on natural gas extraction--though the amounts they would choose differ--and expand the reach of the corporate net income tax by requiring combined reporting.