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PA-Gov: Wolf Calls For Income Tax Increase, Reduction of Property Taxes

Tom-WolfTom Wolf is hoping to revamp the Commonwealth’s tax structure if elected Governor in November.

Having served as the state’s revenue secretary under Gov. Ed Rendell, Wolf believes that wealthy Pennsylvanians need to pay more taxes.

Moreover, Wolf believes the state’s over-reliance on local property taxes to fund public education has contributed to current budgetary issues. He thinks that Pennsylvania’s nearly $30 billion state public school system should be funded primarily by income, rather than property, taxes.

“There is a real passion for property tax relief,” Wolf told a panel of Associated Press reporters and editors. “We have gone well beyond what I think the local property taxpayer should pay to support public education, and so we need to reduce that, and that means that the state should take a bigger share of responsibility.”

Currently, the state shoulders one-third of the burden, while property tax revenue amounts to more than 40 percent. Wolf’s proposed budget increases the state’s share to 50 percent.

The Democratic nominee’s proposed budget would also adjust the state’s 43 year old income tax. If elected, he plans to shift more of the financial burden onto citizens in the higher income brackets. He also plans to relieve more low-income households of their tax burden through a “universal exemption.”

Wolf sees his plan as fair, and he hopes that it will lessen the burden on those who he deems as the middle class; households with annual incomes between $70,000 and $90,000.

Wolf commented, “I’m looking at it from the point of view of fairness. I think people like me should pay more. I think people who are starting out, building a business, starting a family, should pay less.”

Wolf does not support an increase in the sales taxes, however he is in favor of a natural gas extraction tax.

The millionaire businessman spent over $10 million of his own money in order to win the Democratic primary.

Governor Corbett sees rising property taxes as a result of the burgeoning cost of public pensions. The Governor has been working to reduce the cost of public pensions, and stated in a conference call last Thursday that he is open to using a task force approach.

Corbett said that Wolf, “doesn’t seem to think there is a pension crisis…it’s only going to keep getting worse. In just two years, it will add $1.2 billion to the budget. We can’t keep adding those costs. The system is clearly broken and we need to do something about it.”

6 Responses

  1. I am living on a fixed income that does not need any more garnishment than already being assessed

  2. i’m not opposed to an increase in sales taxes & income taxes, but the property tax should then be eliminated, NOT reduced! it would only be a matter of time till the schools needed even more money, & the property taxes would be right back where they were, plus we would have these new taxes in addition.

  3. Read, sign, and then SHARE this petition IF believe you should actually own the home you are currently renting from the school board; IF you believe, you could afford an avg additional $12.70/week in personal income tax as well as another .01 in sales tax as a fair trade off to eliminating the avg. $75./wk you currently pay in school property tax!!

  4. So over $90K is high income. Won’t this require a constitutional amendment to allow a “graduated” tax. Isn’t the current exemption 0 income tax for a family of 4 under $30K (may be higher). Disappointing rhetoric, we will just have the “rich” (to be defined) pay more.

  5. And I was so looking forward to moving back home across the border to practice in PA.

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