MASTRIANO OP-ED: More Taxes Are Not the Answer

Governor Wolf has never met a tax or fee that he does not like.

With our state economy floundering – as a direct result of Wolf’s flawed pandemic policies – what course of action is the Governor pursuing to revive Pennsylvania businesses?  New taxes.

Unfortunately, the Governor’s annual budget lacks coherence and common sense. But we should not be surprised. After all, Wolf has touted these concepts for years.

Once again, Wolf is pushing a severance tax on the natural gas industry.

When will the Governor finally take no for answer?

Do not be fooled by the rhetoric that Pennsylvania does not tax the energy industry. In fact, these companies are already subject to a plethora of business fees and taxes in Pennsylvania.

Implementing a new tax would crush jobs, and impact other state revenue sources.

Pennsylvania ranks in the top 10 in tax burden among all states, according to the Commonwealth Foundation, and there have been five tax hikes in the past 12 years. This is unacceptable.

Wolf wants to increase the personal income tax to fund our schools.

What he isn’t acknowledging is the fact that the General Assembly has funded schools at record levels since I’ve been in office.

Guess what – those record increases were funded without tax hikes!

Compounding matters is the fact that Wolf is targeting the personal income tax.

He unilaterally shut down business after business after business, by picking winners and losers during the pandemic, without telling them why.

Now, he wants to raise taxes on the people who are still lucky enough to be working!

Whatever you want to call it, whether it is new “fees” or “contributions,” if more money is leaving our wallets for Harrisburg, it is a tax, period.

A simple review of Wolf’s track record over the past six years depicts a tax-and-spend philosphy.

How would you like to see a new carbon tax that will spike the cost of your energy bills?

Wolf feels he can implement this type of levy without legislative approval. It is not surprising, because over the past 10 months of the COVID pandemic, he has not consulted with the General Assembly, whatsoever.

We should be talking about economic development and business recovery…not new taxation.

I noticed regulatory reform, red tape reduction and streamlining government are missing from the Governor’s plan.

As the chair of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, the panel will continue to explore these issues during the 2021-2022 legislative session.

Businesses need help now, more than ever, and all Wolf cares about is raising current taxes, or implementing new ones.

There is a lot of work to do, but I am hopeful that the final budget will meet the needs of Pennsylvanians without burdening our already cash-strapped citizens and businesses.

It is time to move on from these bad ideas and start having real discussions about fixing our economy.

Unfortunately, the Governor is not interested in a reasonable approach to protecting our families from more taxes and less money in their wallets.

Senator Doug Mastriano represents the Pennsylvania 33rd Senate District, which includes all of Adams County, and portions of Franklin, Cumberland and York counties.