Feb. 03, 2021 / Press Release

HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf today presented his $40.2 billion budget plan, which is a $2.76 billion increase in spending over the current fiscal year, or a 7.4% increase. Rep. Mike Puskaric (R-Allegheny/Washington) made the following statement in response to the governor’s proposal:

“The governor is seeking to put the state at financial risk by proposing more spending and more taxes. Working families and nearly every small, local family business will be affected by his tax hike. During this global pandemic, the goal to economic recovery is to keep our businesses running. Economic recovery does not result by raising taxes.

“The governor is once again proposing an energy extraction tax which will ultimately be passed on to the consumer in higher energy bills. The natural gas industry already pays a tax – the Act 13 of 2012 Impact Fee. It will have generated more than $2 billion by July, benefiting infrastructure and conservation projects in all 67 counties. Natural gas is also a major employer in western Pennsylvania. Additional taxes will cause fuel and electricity costs to increase.

“I am not in support of the governor’s plan for a minimum wage hike. 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. House Republicans continue to put families first through our commitment to rebuilding Pennsylvania’s opportunities to retain and create family-sustaining jobs. We are working to help transition people from minimum wage jobs to good-paying, career jobs – jobs that allow individuals the dignity of providing for themselves and their families.

“The governor is also proposing a 46% increase in the Personal Income Tax (PIT) to gain an additional $7 billion for new spending. Most small businesses – the ones he arbitrarily forced to close -- pay the PIT and not the Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT). You can see that the governor’s plan is to solely cut taxes on big corporations but raise taxes on families and small local employers.”

Pennsylvanians will pay higher taxes if they are:
• Single earning more than $49,000 a year.
• A married couple without children earning more than $64,000 a year.
• A married couple with two children earning more than $84,000 a year.
• A single parent with two children earning more than $69,000 a year.

“Bottom line: 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.”

To view Rep. Puskaric’s comments following Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address, click here.

Representative Mike Puskaric
39th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)
RepPuskaric.com / Facebook.com/RepPuskaric