A couple weeks ago, we noted that Republicans were considering a shell game to hike your taxes. The good news is that budget framework fell apart as soon as people learned the details. The bad news is the Republican Majority Leader, Rep. Dave Reed is still pushing for a tax hike. The new tax increase would come as the result of eliminating sale tax exemptions, taxing e-cigarettes, and raising the tax on regular cigarettes.
As we have stated repeatedly, Pennsylvanians cannot afford to pay more taxes. Furthermore, it is absurd for anyone to ask them when there are multiple options available to decrease other spending. Pennsylvanians are currently spending $250 million per year to subsidize the racehorse industry. Furthermore, we are being forced to overpay for public projects at all levels of government due to "prevailing wage" mandates. Eliminating the prevailing wage mandate would save taxpayers $1 billion per year. Taxpayers could also save $750 million per year by ditching overpriced money managers for our pension funds. If the legislature and pension boards followed virtually ALL investing advice and embraced passive, also known as indexed investing, the long term returns would outperform the current arrangement and we would save management fees.
The Governor and his enablers in the Republican caucus are insisting that Pennsylvania has a structural deficit. If that were the case, and it isn’t, why does the proposed budget increase spending 6 percent or more than three-times the rate of inflation? Wouldn’t it make more sense to prioritize current spending and reduce costs, rather than stick taxpayers with a higher bill?
It is unconscionable that Rep. Reed and other Republicans are seriously considering a proposal that forces taxpayers to dig deeper into their pockets, instead of eliminating corporate welfare, cutting expenses, and prioritizing spending.
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