PA-BGT: House Rejects Wolf’s Tax Plan

wolf-sadAfter more than six hours of back-and-forth, the State House decided against Gov. Tom Wolf’s tax plans.

Wolf’s tax package fell 29 votes short, with only 73 Democrats voting in favor of the half-percentage increase in the personal income tax and a 3.5% severance tax. Nine Democratic legislators joined the Republicans in voting against the first-year Governor’s proposals. Two Democrats and 1 Republican missed the vote.

Democratic State Sen. Daylin Leach condemned the vote in a statement, saying Wolf’s package was “destined to fail” in the Republican-controlled House.

“Governor Wolf continues to offer compromises while fighting for Pennsylvania’s future, while Republicans cling to their theological adherence to Grover Norquist’s no-revenue pledges and try to come up with new and innovative ways to embarrass Governor Wolf and our Commonwealth,” Leach said.

The Wolf Administration estimated its scaled-back tax plans would raise an additional $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2015-16 and $2.1 billion next year – giving the state enough to pour $400 million back into state education funding.

“Ninety-five percent of the governor’s latest tax proposal will be paid by the working men and women of Pennsylvania. It’s that simple,” Bill Adolph, GOP chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said from the floor.

PA Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason urged state lawmakers to hold meaningful negotiations after 14 weeks of standstill in Harrisburg, while slamming Wolf for the attempted tax hikes.

“For months, Governor Tom Wolf has supported the largest tax hike in the nation. For months, Republicans leaders told Tom Wolf that his tax hikes didn’t have the support of majorities in the State Senate and State House,” Gleason said in a statement. “Now, Tom Wolf’s refusal to recognize the reality of our budget situation has cost our schools and social services millions of dollars.”

With Wolf yet to win over the entire Democratic Party, the budget stalemate looks set to drag into the coming weeks.

29 Responses

  1. Democrats have 84 seats…why would any of them vote for a tax increase that had no chance to pass?

  2. Diano. U lost. The guv has dwindling support. Voters of ur party are jumping ship. Quit whining and accept it.

  3. Bono-
    These guys are all in safe Dem districts with strong D/R ratios.
    Well, they clearly deserve a primary challenge and replacement with better Dems.

    Frank Burns, leg 72, ratio 1.63
    Jared Gibbons, leg 10, ratio 1.25
    Ted HARHAI, leg 58, ratio 1.89
    Nick KOTIK, leg 45, ratio 2.19
    Tm MAHONEY, leg 51, ratio 1.6
    Robert Matzie, leg 16, ratio 2.31
    Joseph Petrarca, leg 55, ratio 1.36
    Chris Sainato, leg 9, ratio 1.51
    Pam SNYDER, leg 50, ratio 2.44

  4. aaron

    Just because you couldn’t be educated doesn’t mean you should deprive everyone else of an education

  5. Burns, Gibbons, Harhai, Kotik, Mahoney, Matzie, Petrarca, Sainato & Snyder joined with the R’s putting self-preservation over voting the right way.

  6. It will kill jobs. And BTW u r ignorant. I feel bad for the workers. The guys and gals getting raped so that our schools can re’turf football fields. Yay. A billion dollars more for education. And our kids wI’ll still be dumber than the rest of the developed world. Congrats.

  7. aaron

    A 5% tax isn’t going to kill the industry.

    It’s a good bet they’ve been underreporting what they’ve been extracting to dodge royalties, and have been hiding environmental damage to avoid cleanups. So, enforcing the rules would really kill them.

    With more renewables coming online each year, the fossil fuel industry is going away soon anyway. The state should get top dollar in severance fees while it still can, and put it into education for the next generation of kids and green technology.

  8. That’s drillers. Not completers or accounting staff or landmen etc… why on earth would we kill an industry at the exact time price has plummeted. How about we work with the industry in a difficult price environment and maybe once price goes up we can impose a tax. What good is a 5% severance tax whenever the sales price is at an all time low. I understand u hate the industry but over the next 5 years what good is that. There are good people getting pink slips (many of them Union blue collar employees) getting screwed because of the price before an additional 5 percent tax. Think diano. Think. Don’t kill something whenever it could contribute billions of tax dollars in the future. Don’t respond. You only care about killing the industry and the families that will ultimately be negatively affected.

  9. Aaron

    From June:
    stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2015/06/18/new-fracking-jobs-number-likely-more-accurate-say-economists/

    30,000 direct jobs, 90,000 “linked”

    As I said, a lot of these jobs are filled by out of state workers.

    The severance tax is not going to kill the jobs of Pennsylvanians.

  10. Wolf should turn attention to property taxes. Dollar for dollar increase in sales and income tax to eliminate property tax. It will pass. Next year focus on an increase for public school funding. Sad he’s not that smart.

  11. Diano there are hundreds of thousands employed in the pa oil and gas industry. Hundreds of thousands also in the Umwa protesting Obamas ozone mandate. 12 months ago I was for a severance tax. Do your homework. Look at the layoffs reported. At 4 dollars per McF I’m for a severance tax. At 65 cents. No. That’s ignorant and irresponsible.

  12. I just don’t understand this outcome. Wolf has a PhD in political science from MIT. It makes no sense to me that he wasn’t able to use those academic skills to get his way with the legislature.

  13. aaron

    Tens of thousands, if what, severance tax?
    There aren’t even tens of thousands of Pennsylvanias employed. Most of the drillers are out of state workers.

  14. Cut all legislative perks and staff to make up the budget shortfall and see how fast the GOP raises taxes.

  15. Diano,
    Look at Wolf’s proposal, 95% of the new money is unrelated to gas. After the result he got, democrats are going to be calling Turzai and Reed and offering to sell Wolf out in exchange for pork.

  16. No need to raise any taxes,try cutting all the government waste in Harrisburg.start with treasure,auditor General,and attorney general.way over staffed,just look on line at some of the pays they receive.typical democrat.

  17. I’m sure they are taking another look at overriding wolfs veto. This is by far the most humiliating day for wolf since he took office.

  18. Yeah diano and tens of thousands of people in pa would lose their jobs. Fortunately your ignorance is not shared by most people. What an embarrassment. He couldn’t even keep his own caucus together.

  19. PhillySteve-

    If we raised the severance tax to 5% or more, we wouldn’t need income tax increase to 3.5%

  20. I thought One Term Tom 2.0 had 18 GOP votes in the bag? No? Maybe he should give up on his plan to massively raise taxes on Pennsylvanians. While he did win on education funding and a severance tax, he didn’t exactly run on raising taxes on me.

  21. Does anyone have the names of the 7 Dems who voted against this?

    And the names of their primary opponents for 2016?

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