(HARRISBURG) – Today Tom Wolf proposed devastating tax increases of $4.7 billion as part of his 2015-2016 state budget proposal, according the Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25).

Scarnati explained at a press conference following the Governor’s budget address, that Senate Republicans, who hold a 30-19 majority in the Senate, will not support Tom Wolf’s enormous tax increases on Pennsylvania families and employers.

“I certainly respect that the Governor has a concept for the 2015-16 state budget, however the Senate Republican Caucus does not believe that massive tax increases will help make Pennsylvania a stronger state,” Scarnati said. “Today’s budget clarifies that Governor Wolf is fixated on taxing and spending his way out of the state’s problems. As budget discussions progress, I will continue to be a voice for reason and helping to provide relief from the disastrous effects Tom Wolf’s budget would have on hardworking residents across our Commonwealth.”

In his budget, the Governor has proposed tax increases of 16.1 percent more than Fiscal Year 2014-15. His proposal would raise taxes by $12 billion over the next two fiscal years – about $1,000 for every man, woman and child in Pennsylvania.

“We expect Pennsylvania families to live within their means and our government must learn to do the same,” Scarnati said. “My constituents have sent me to Harrisburg to protect working families. We cannot expect them to give us even more of their hard earned paychecks.”

Scarnati stressed that under the Wolf plan, families will pay more in personal income taxes, sales and use taxes, as well as on new taxable items. While the portion of his proposal to reduce property taxes is certainly a good concept, it is immensely concerning that in his proposal, there is nothing that will keep property taxes from going back up.

“While Gov. Wolf wants to borrow over $6 billion against the state, and spend billions and billions of dollars, my colleagues and I will remain focused on tangible initiatives to help Pennsylvanians, such as passing pension reform and improving the state’s business environment,” Scarnati explained.

Strengthening Pennsylvania’s economy needs a clear and predictable course that focuses on fiscal restraint and core priorities.

“Over the past four years Pennsylvania’s economy has been on the right track, as Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate is at the lowest rate in more than six years and with the right fiscal policies, it can go lower,” Scarnati stated. “We will not allow the irresponsible budget proposed by Tom Wolf to destroy the hard work we have done over the past several years to develop a strong business climate and increase access to good family sustaining jobs across Pennsylvania.”


CONTACT: Drew Crompton dcrompton@pasen.gov 717-787-7084