HARRISBURG – In response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal that includes unaffordable and unconstitutional tax hikes, Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland) issued the following statement:
“The governor proposed sweeping tax increases on middle-class Pennsylvanians at a time when nearly every resident is hurting due to his administration’s widespread business closures. The governor’s proposed Personal Income Tax increase of nearly 50% would take direct aim at the paychecks of Pennsylvanian’s who have been hit hardest by the pandemic.
“I also find it alarming that the governor’s plan would harm the businesses that are already struggling to recover from the closures since most small businesses themselves pay the Personal Income Tax. While big-box stores were allowed to remain open, many small businesses were forced to close for months at a time during the pandemic. These are the same small businesses that Wolf now expects to recover overnight and begin paying his proposed $15 minimum wage. This is another government mandate to small business owners, who account for hiring nearly half of Pennsylvania’s private sector workforce.
“The governor claims this tax increase is to provide more money for public schools. However, under Republican leadership, the General Assembly has increased education funding by more than $3.5 billion in the past 10 years. Not surprisingly, the governor is again looking to fill budget shortfalls with revenues generated from Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s project to legalize recreational marijuana. When the top issues that my office deals with is from people trying to find a COVID-19 vaccine or an unemployment check, I would much rather his administration prioritize finding a solution to those crises.
“This budget is another attempt from Wolf to cut funding from agricultural programs, which serve as the backbone to our state and the 193rd District. His proposal would shift money from the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund, which has a $210 million impact on local economies, to provide college scholarships. This funding shift would be detrimental to our local agricultural industry, and others across the state.
“As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I look forward to working with all sides, including the administration, to formulate a viable budget that respects taxpayers.
Representative Torren Ecker
193rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross