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District Office
1555 Highlands Drive
Suite 110
Lititz, PA 17543
Phone:  (717) 626-1776
FAX:  (717) 626-4234

Capitol Office
51A East Wing
PO Box 202097
Harrisburg PA 17120-2097
Phone: (717) 787-1776


Gov. Wolf’s Tax Proposal Defeated in the House
Last week, Gov. Tom Wolf submitted his tax package to the House of Representatives for an up-or-down vote. He proposed a 16 percent increase in the Personal Income Tax and an effective 14 percent tax rate on natural gas drillers which would have raised approximately $1.4 billion.

Without meaningful pension reform or privatization of the state’s wine and spirits business, the proposal was defeated in a bipartisan fashion, with a final vote of 127 opposed and 73 in favor. I voted against the governor’s tax proposal because the choice to raise taxes should be the last choice, not the first in solving budget issues. The General Assembly must look at the ways which we can create savings and revenue without raising taxes.

The governor has been suggesting that a natural gas extraction tax would generate $1billion for education, which we now know not to be true. First, the governor’s proposal did not include specific language that would ensure those funds were used for education. Second, the amount raised from the extraction tax was $70 million not $1billion.

Out of $1.4 billion in new revenue that Gov. Wolf proposed, 95 percent would be paid through higher income taxes. Only 5 percent would be paid by the natural gas industry in an extraction tax. For every $200 in new taxes, you would pay $190 and natural gas drillers would pay only $10.

Pennsylvania would have the highest natural gas tax in the nation with an effective rate of 14 percent if the governor’s proposal would have passed. The result would have been a loss of family sustaining jobs as the natural gas industry would look to other states in which to operate.

The governor’s proposal to expand the property tax assistance program and rent rebate program would not go into effect until 2017 and it would do nothing for 90% of property tax payers.

When will the administration be willing to undertake real pension reform and efficiencies in state government? The proposal that was defeated just places the entire burden on hardworking Pennsylvanians. My hope is that after this vote we can have realistic negotiations in Harrisburg. While this is taking place, I will continue to urge House leadership and the governor to support the immediate release of emergency funding for human service agencies and schools that desperately need funding.

Representative Steven Mentzer
97th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Eric Reath
717.260.6187 /
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