HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf today presented his $40.2 billion budget plan, which is a $2.76 billion increase from last fiscal year or a 7.4% increase. Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Carbon/Berks/Schuylkill) made the following statement in response to the governor’s proposal:
“Our top priority must be to continue to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The governor wants to increase taxes and spending, while my House Republican colleagues and I are focused on getting Pennsylvanians vaccinated, so we can return to normal and build our economy to where it was before the pandemic. Our Commonwealth ranks a dismal 44 out of 50 for getting vaccines in people’s arms, according to Becker’s Hospital Review. That’s where the governor’s focus should be, not on raising our taxes.
“While I support smart growth, such as making strong investments in workforce development and education, the governor’s budget plan will undoubtedly cause more unemployment and business shutdowns. It would significantly raise taxes on middle-class Pennsylvanians, small businesses and critical infrastructure. The governor is proposing a 46% increase in the Personal Income Tax to gain an additional $7 billion for new spending. This tax increase would devastate local employers and employees at a time when we want to help them bounce back.
“To make economic matters worse, in Wolf’s latest minimum wage push, he is proposing to increase the minimum wage to $12 per hour by July 1, 2021, and annually increase the wage by 50 cents until it reaches $15 per hour by 2027. With a crippled economy caused by a global pandemic and the governor’s ongoing and arbitrary business shutdowns, a minimum wage increase would be even more problematic.
“Who will pay the bill for his plan? You, the taxpayer! We cannot afford additional taxes, and I’m disappointed that he would even develop such a plan knowing the hardships our Commonwealth has faced in the past year. I do not support the governor’s budget plan. We must deliver economic recovery and protect our families.”
Representative Jerry Knowles
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner