PA Gov: Wolf Budget Calls for Increasing Income Tax and Boosting Education Funding

Gov. Tom Wolf’s seventh budget address urged for an increase in the state’s personal income tax rate, while also reupping calls for an increase in education funding, increase to the state’s minimum wage, and more. 

Wolf’s twenty minute recorded address on Wednesday said it was time to act “boldly,” which starts with his tax plan. 

“Indeed, I think it’s more important than ever that we act boldly and courageously to remove those barriers once and for all,” Wolf said in prepared remarks. “So, today, I’m proposing a budget designed to do exactly that.”

“Let’s start with taxes,” Wolf continued. 

A key part of his $37.8 billion budget proposal is to raise the state’s personal income tax from 3.07% to 4.49% for the top-third of the state’s wage earners, while the rest would pay the same or less, according to the Wolf administration. 

Wolf said this tax proposal is not “about pitting the rich against the poor and the middle class.” 

“The real question is whether everybody is paying a fair share – and whether we’re all getting our money’s worth,” Wolf said. “And the truth is, the answer to both questions right now is “no.”

“First big change: We’re going to stop asking working families to pay the same tax rate my family does,” Wolf continued. “I want to help working families get ahead by reducing their taxes.”

Republican leaders slammed Wolf’s budget proposal and also questioned the constitutionality of raising the personal income tax. 

“The budget Gov Wolf is presenting is completely unsustainable, totally irresponsible and absolutely crippling to the state’s economy,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Centre). “Now is not the time to ask Pennsylvanians to send more of their hard-earned dollars to Harrisburg.”

Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) called Wolf’s budget proposal “completely tone deaf.”

According to the AP, the money from a higher income tax also would “fill a projected multibillion-dollar deficit largely inflicted by the pandemic.”

Like previous budget proposals, Wolf is calling for an increase in education spending. He said his plan includes an increase of $1.3 billion for schools, which he said will “more than double our investment in education.” 

“Finally, we will be able to fully and fairly fund every school, in every school district, in every part of the commonwealth,” Wolf said.

Wolf also reiterated his calls for an increase in the state’s minimum wage, a severance tax on natural gas drilling, legalizing recreational marijuana, and more. 

“If you’ve had enough of being told why your government can’t solve your problems, make it crystal clear that, this time, you don’t want to hear that anymore; that you won’t accept any more excuses,” Wolf said. 

The GOP has a majority in both chambers and will have a voice in Wolf’s budget.

13 Responses

  1. At some point soon, both at the federal and state level, all these years of failing to collect adequate revenue to pay the necessary expenses is going to reach a crisis level. The TRICKLE DOWN CHICKENS are coming home to roost. Even worse is the cowardly house of cards that Trump and Moscow Mitch setup with their last round of tax cuts AKA welfare for the wealthy where the law makes the cut tax rates on the wealthy and corporations permanent while sun setting the lower rates on the middle class next year.

    We need hard core tax law that forbids Republicans from ever cutting taxes again unless they actually make deep cuts in spending.

  2. This is DOA.

    No way to schools need more money when they are not going back in person education and the remote education is like 1/10 the quality.

    I am not paying more to them or the state, who shut down business unconstitutionally.

  3. The proposal REDUCES the Pa. income tax for MOST people, and would increase the tax for some people.

  4. Wolf and Bookvar are dirty criminals who will stoop to any level to protect the cabal.

  5. Rich people need to bite the bullet and pay up to save the State where they make a great deal of money.

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