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Senate Proposes ‘Historic’ Tax Cuts to Counter Democrat Spending Plans

Joe Pittman and Senate Republicans

Investing three billion dollars means different things to different people.

To Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R-Indiana), it means giving it back to Pennsylvania citizens versus new spending by Democrats.

An amendment offered on a bill granting a tax credit to volunteer emergency medical technicians was approved on 11-5 party-line vote by the Senate Rules Committee that calls for lowering the 3.07% tax rate to 2.8% and eliminating the 140-year-old gross receipts tax on electricity.

Not surprisingly, Democrats voted against it, noting they had only received the proposed amendment an hour before the meeting and they did not have time to review the major tax code change.

Pittman, who said the bill would save citizens of the state a total of $1.7 billion from the personal income tax cut and $1.2 billion from the elimination of the tax on electricity, said that this was his way to counter the House Democratic majority and Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desire for new spending.

“There’s been a lot of discussion about $3 billion of additional spending. Our point of view is if we’re going to invest $3 billion, we should invest it back into the taxpayers,” Pittman said. “We fundamentally believe when you allow taxpayers and consumers of electricity to keep more of what they earn that they are best decide how to reinvest that into our economy. We believe lower tax structures help further grow an economy and in this case we would be lifting all boats.”

He also countered what he called Democratic beliefs that if you have too much money in your savings account, it should be spent on new priorities or bolstering funding for existing budget lines.

“Our argument is if you think there’s too much money in our savings account, it should be returned to those who put it there in the first place, which is the taxpayer,” Pittman said.

Shapiro’s proposed budget calls for boosting general fund spending to $48.3 billion from this year’s $44.6 billion and that includes $1.1 billion more in funding for public schools, $50 million for whole home repairs, $283 million for mass transit, $600 million for economic development initiatives and more money for higher education and for Pennsylvanians with intellectual disabilities.

4 Responses

  1. Senate Republicans should have proposed a plan to eliminate the state income tax entirely to match the 9 states that have already done so.

  2. The state spending more on K-12 public education helps keep my local property taxes down. Funding economic development produces more income in the long than $25 a month in state tax relief to individual tax payers.

  3. I’m not surprised that Senate GOPers would rather play election year politics than negotiate a budget in good faith.

    1. I’m not surprised that House Dems would rather play election year politics than negotiate a budget in good faith. ALL they do is pass ridiculous messaging bills and hand out money to their preferred interest groups.


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