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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


House to Review State Government Spending
On Feb. 9, Gov. Tom Wolf addressed the General Assembly to discuss his latest budget proposal, but rather than providing details on his proposed budget, the governor gave a lecture that is not likely to create a bipartisan spirit of compromise.

The governor proposed an 11 percent increase in the Personal Income Tax, which would be retroactively applied to income you have already earned, dating back to Jan. 1, 2016. He also proposed expanding the sales tax to include cable television, movie theatre tickets and online download purchases. He wants nearly an additional $3 billion in new taxes to support a nearly 10 percent increase in spending, to $33.3 billion. He also proposed a 6.5 percent severance tax.

It is concerning that the governor is doubling down on plans for higher taxes and higher spending, when his similar proposals did not have the votes to pass in the Legislature. His tax packages were voted down twice with wide bipartisan majorities opposed to raising taxes.

The governor’s proposed tax hikes will not be enough to support the Commonwealth over the next several years. In a recent interview, Randy Albright, the governor’s secretary of Budget, admitted that even with Wolf’s proposed $3 billion tax hike the state would face a structural deficit in two years. That means our expenditures will exceed the tax revenue we take in.

The state cannot tax its way into prosperity. As all businesses do, when your balance sheets do not operate in the black, you have to look at cutting your expenses. It is time the Legislature does the same.

This week, I was appointed a member of PennSAVE which is a newly created task force in the House of Representatives that is looking to find ways to create savings by evaluating state programs to find additional efficiencies. With a state budget of over $30 billion, there are plenty of opportunities to improve how government works and reduce waste.

The state budget process should not begin with a conversation on how much more should Pennsylvanians pay in taxes. Instead, we should be looking for ways to reduce government spending where we can and cut unnecessary costs.

By State Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz)

Representative Steven Mentzer
97th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Eric Reath
717.260.6187 /
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