HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf today issued his proposal for Pennsylvania’s 2021-22 budget. The governor has proposed a budget of $40.2 billion, which is an increase of $3 billion, or 8.2% over the 2019-20 budget. Focal points of the governor’s proposal included a 46% increase in Personal Income Tax (PIT) rates, an increased minimum wage and a severance tax on natural gas production.
Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin/Lebanon) issued the following statement in response:
“These increased taxes proposed by the governor would be devastating to middle-class Pennsylvanians who are already struggling financially, as well as many small businesses that pay the PIT. These two demographics have suffered tremendously throughout this pandemic, and these additional financial burdens would only worsen that suffering.
“Our small businesses would be doubly impacted when you factor in the minimum wage increase. The Independent Fiscal Office has reported that if the minimum wage were increased to $12, approximately 27,000 jobs would be lost throughout the Commonwealth. In a time when so many are struggling to make ends meet, this would be absolutely devastating.
“And as a cherry on top, the governor has proposed to further tax and harm one of Pennsylvania’s most critically important industries. Natural gas was designated as ‘life sustaining’ in the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, as their base ingredients for plastic are essential for PPE and vaccine development. The last thing we should be doing is singling out an industry that is so critical to our pandemic response, especially when Pennsylvania currently ranks 44th out of 50 in vaccine distribution.
“Pennsylvania needs a budget that will promote our economic recovery, prioritize distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and not raise taxes. With my colleagues in the General Assembly, I will work to produce a budget that will help, not hurt, the people of Pennsylvania.
For more information on Helm and her legislative priorities, please visit RepHelm.com or Facebook.com/RepHelm.
Representative Sue Helm
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Kevin DiGuiseppe