State Senate Passes Revenue Package, Includes Tax Increases

Harrisburg-Capitol-steps2The state Senate sent a revenue package to the House today to balance the spending plan that was passed in June.  The Senate’s bill uses a mix of tax increases and expansions, gambling expansion, fund transfers, and borrowing.  

Included in the taxes is a tax on natural gas extraction.  The plan will borrow approximately $1.3 billion against Pennsylvania’s tobacco settlement fund.  

“We’ve done everything we can in state government to contain spending in the areas that we have the ability to do in order to avoid any tax increase.  Unfortunately, we are here today because we ran out of our ability to do that. If we are going to maintain our responsibility to educate our children, provide for higher education, provide for human services and pay our debts, we are in a position that we have find the revenue needed to make that happen,” state Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) said after the vote.  

The bill passed by a final margin of 26-24.  State Senator Scott Wagner (R-York), who is also running for Governor, voted against the bill and took the opportunity to speak against Governor Wolf.  

“I find very troubling all of us are here today because the state’s chief executive failed to do his job and is failing to do his job by not holding state agencies accountable,” Wagner said according to the Patriot News.  

The plan will now go to the House, where its future is unknown.  State House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) walked away from earlier budget negotiations when the prospect of tax increases was discussed.

18 Responses

  1. Hopefully this fails in the house people can not afford to pay higher utility, cell winter heating cost. Cut education spending because we are spending to much money on it and our kids are coming out common core stupid.

  2. REPUBLICANS HAVE A VETO PROOF MAJORITY AND THEY GO RAISE TAXES ? Its time for a Revolution in The Commonwealth . VOTE EVERYONE OUT OF OFFICE

    1. Clever by half? Since the Republicans in the legislature feel the need to raise taxes, this is the time to do it. Next year they can virtue signal by refusing to budge at all on spending, so that they look good come November. Their calculus is that the voters have a short memory, remembering they held the line in 2018 while forgetting they raised taxes in 2017. We’ll have to see if it works.

      So the $32 billion budget will be done. Meanwhile, the governor and the legislature do their best ignore the elephant (actually the brontosaurus) in the room. This is the $64 billion (at least) unfunded pension obligation no one seems to want to admit is there. It won’t go away, no matter how much they hope it does.

  3. Once again, Wagner is a WEASEL, who can’t face reality. All the R leadership & moderate R’s most from the southeast voted for HB 542.

  4. Perfect example of why I am one of the 120,000+ FB fans of Scott Wagner, he opposed the budget and the tax hike.

    1. The ONLY reason Wagner voted NO was they had the votes to pass it and he is running for Governor. Don’t be fooled….

  5. “We’ve done everything we can in state government to contain spending in the areas that we have the ability to do in order to avoid any tax increase.”

    Except you know, reducing spending in any area of the government. Because, Mr Leader, you have full ability to reduce spending in ALL areas of the government, because you are part of the Legislature!

    1. How about raising taxes to pay off debts and the annual interest on those debts?

      1. How about cutting spending and government not take a pay check? Taxes are always the answer to you democrats. The rich and poor don’t pay the taxes the middle class does.

      2. How about cutting spending and lowering taxes so I can pay of my debts?

  6. How about in articles about votes in the legislature, include a hyperlink to the vote so we can see who voted how? To find out myself, I have to figure out what bill number they voted on (not part of the article).

    Just a thought on how to make your journalism more useful.

    1. Thank you! I come across this issue in just about every budget article I read…

  7. If Wolf had the balls to step up regulation/oversight and start shutting down wells two years ago, the industry would have offered twice the severance tax to turn the spigot back on.

  8. Right…and the 120 followers of Grover Norquist in the pa house will happily vote for a tax increase on corporate frackers.I think I misspelled the f word.

    1. The Gas Industry (which wholly owns the House GOP and too many Dems) is happy to trade the tax for reduction in oversight. They can make up the tax by illegally polluting.

      1. This bill goes nowhere until Turdo gets paid by the private licker guys.

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