House Unanimously Defeats Wolf’s Tax Plan
The Pennsylvania House on Monday unanimously rejected Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed tax plan, 193-0.
TribLive says the vote was force by Republicans:
Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Oakmont, called the vote on an amendment that contained Wolf’s tax plan “a political stunt.
“It does nothing to move this process forward,” Dermody said. “I would never ask (Democrats) to vote for a stunt.”
But Majority Leader David Reed, R-Indiana County, said the vote gave the Wolf administration what it wanted: a vote on the entire tax package in his budget, rather than breaking it into pieces for individual votes.
“I think today is an accurate reflection if you consider the governor’s budget” presented in March, Reed said.
Wolf’s proposal, among other features, would raise the income tax from 3 percent to 3.7 percent and the sales tax from 6 percent to 6.6 percent; a 5.3-percent tax on Marcellus Shale gas extraction would also be imposed. The tax hikes were designed to increase school funding, reduce property taxes, and close what the Wolf Administration says is a $2.3 billion deficit.
Wolf called a news conference after the House session ended to voice his displeasure with what some considered a conversation starter on the first day of the final month of the fiscal year when budget talks start to really heat up.
“It’s a funny way to start a conversation. I think we could do a better job of it,” he quipped.
The vote comes as a new poll from Public Policy Polling suggests voters approve of pieces of Wolf’s plan, at the very least, including the Marcellus Shale tax and efforts to reduce property taxes.
The budget is due, by law, on June 30. Observers believe the deadline will not be met.