PA-BGT: Wolf Standing Firm on Tax Demands

wolf-budget addressAfter falling short with his best chance to win the budget stalemate, Gov. Tom Wolf said he will continue to insist on tax increases to fix the state’s finances.

“I think there’s a dawning awareness that I’m not going to cave on this, I can’t cave on this,” Wolf said in an interview with KDKA-AM on Tuesday. “I’m one of 12.7 millions Pennsylvanians, and we’ve got to have our state on a sound financial basis. That’s all I want.”

House GOP leaders gave the first-year Democrat an opportunity to put his tax proposals to a final vote after 14 weeks without a state budget agreement. Wolf’s proposed increase to the state’s personal income tax and a severance tax on the natural gas industry failed in the House, 127-73.

Now 105 days into the budget impasse, school districts, counties and service providers are facing layoffs and/or taking out millions of dollars in loans.

The state is also facing another credit downgrade if lawmakers in Harrisburg cannot iron out a spending plan, due to the state’s impending structural deficits. PA has seen its credit rating downgraded for the last several years, as the state relied heavily on one-time revenue sources to balance the budgets.

Wolf said he would be open to expanding gambling in PA, though it won’t be enough on its own to fix the problem.

“I haven’t heard anybody say that is the end-all be-all to our budget deficit,” Wolf said. “I’m open to a conversation on that, and I presume you can design it in a way that would bring in some revenues, but not enough to plug a $2 billion deficit.”

14 Responses

  1. Know it all Diano thinks that his papa, the Governor can just raise taxes and make the fiscal woes of the state disappear. It was when the Republican outsourced the state pension fund to an out of state concern under then Governor Ridge and the brokerage house mis-managed it [busted it out in mafia terms] by making unwise investments in high commission investment vehicles. As a result the funds lost over $20 BILLION of the principal amount handed over to these crooks to invest, thereby leaving the state to recoup that amount just to get even. THAT is what you call political patronage! Money does not disappear, it just changes hands. How soon you all forgot what happened and no one complained! How come these crooks were never prosecuted and why aren’t they still in jail? That’s your Pennsylvania history lesson for the day.

  2. aaron: You did not debunk the gas tax; your argument was weak. If the revenue produced on a lower gas price is trivial, why don’t the gas companies just STFU and pay it? Moreover, jobs are already being cut with low gas prices, so you cannot blame a nonexistent tax for that.

  3. The repukes are silly. Wolf did compromise on a host of issues. There is no compromise on the GOP behalf. Aaron is using his brain everyone… Let’s give him a big round of applause.

  4. Ob server. Please read thread before posting. U just sound ignorant whenever I completely just debunked the severance tax argument. I know it’s hard sometimes but give using ur brain a good try.

  5. Sick and tired of dhat Obama… Derr. Derr. I wanna keep paying out the ass in property taxes so the gas companies can hire workers from Texas and Oklahoma then make billions exporting it overseas.

  6. David, I rarely agree with you but find you know the difference between political rhetoric and facts. The state aid was not cut, but increased. The federal stimulus dollars went away. You know this because it was posted incharts and graphs by the education deoartment. Please be intellectually honest with your arguments so we can appreciate honest discourse.

  7. Education…education…education….so boring…education spending is a dead end…peeing into the wind…..when will it ever be enough….

  8. He made that pledge last year when natural gas was at 4 bucks per mcf. Now it’s closers to 50 cents per mcf. X% of 50 cents is a hell of a lot less revenue than x% of 4 dollars. So a little bit of revenue and tens of thousands of lost jobs in pa. Diano I know math is hard and all, but they have these things now called calculators. U press buttons aND the machine actually does the math for you. Try using one some time.

  9. The shale tax is a non-starter. Even 8 or 9 dems voted against it! He campaigned on that but it wasn’t the reason he won. He won because he was not Corbett and had no record to attack.

    The Rs offered 300M in school funding but wolf just wants to raise taxes.

  10. Jim-

    What compromises/concessions have the Republicans made?

    Aaron-
    Corbett’s budget cuts to the schools that raised local property taxes were a large part of anti-Corbett movement that Wolf captured by promising to reverse them with taxing shale extraction instead.

    Tax the shale, and use the money to pay for education. The voters support this.

  11. Wolf was elected because he’s not corbett. There is next to no support for a severance tax in pa.

  12. One term Tom part deux. Had he compromised on some of the R proposals, he’d be extremely popular and a lock for re-election. Rather than being a pragmatic centrist, Wolfe is proving himself to be a left wing ideologue. Any Republican voting for a broad based tax increase will almost certainly be primaried. We’re still suffering from the Corbett gas tax.

  13. Wolf should re-submit the same proposal, but bump the severance tax to 4.0% from 3.5%

    If they reject that, go with 4.5% the following week.

    Wolf campaigned and was elected on 5.0% shale tax plan, so the GOP should accept his concession to 3.5% while it’s still on the table.

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