HARRISBURG – Rep. Marci Mustello (R-Butler) today issued the following statement in reaction to Gov. Tom Wolf’s $40.2 billion state budget proposal for the 2021-22 fiscal year:
“I am amazed that the governor is seeking to put the state at financial risk by proposing more spending, more taxes and more debt. His plan is $2.76 billion more than last fiscal year which is a 7.4% increase. Who will pay for his plan? You, the taxpayer! That is simply unacceptable.
“Let’s not forget, we are still battling the coronavirus pandemic. Getting a vaccine deployed and returning to normal is the best way to build an economic recovery. My House Republican colleagues and I will be prioritizing vaccine rollout issues by holding an oversight hearing and moving legislation to put the National Guard in charge of the vaccine distribution infrastructure buildout.
“The governor is also proposing a 46% increase in the Personal Income Tax (PIT) to gain an additional $7 billion for new spending. Most small businesses – the ones he arbitrarily forced to close -- pay the PIT and not the Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT). You can see that the governor’s plan is to solely cut taxes on big corporations, but raise taxes on families and small local employers.
Pennsylvanians will pay higher taxes if they are:
• Single earning more than $49,000 a year.
• A married couple without children earning more than $64,000 a year.
• A married couple with two children earning more than $84,000 a year.
• A single parent with two children earning more than $69,000 a year.
“This absurd increase will crush mom-and-pop employers that help make Butler County a robust portion of the state. Many businesses are continuing to suffer from his shutdown orders. This PIT increase will devastate local employers and employees.
“To add insult to injury, in Wolf’s latest minimum wage push, he is proposing to increase the minimum wage to $12 per hour by July 1, 2021, and annually increase the wage by 50 cents until it reaches $15 per hour by 2027. That will devastate our economy.
“The governor wants to again impose a severance tax on natural gas. I don’t believe he realizes that natural gas is the base ingredient in plastics which are a critical part of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) development, plexiglass and COVID-19 vaccine research. The governor is once again singling out an industry that creates jobs in our area, creates essential products, lowers energy prices and lessens harmful emissions. The natural gas industry, located in western Pennsylvania, will have generated more than $2 billion in impact fees by July, benefiting infrastructure and conservation projects in all 67 counties. The governor’s proposal is not just a tax on the oil and gas; it would be a tax on our pandemic recovery.
“Last year, in the middle of a global pandemic, we kept our commitment to funding education without raising taxes. We plan on keeping that commitment again this year. There is no reason why, now, as a vaccine is being deployed, we should be looking to raise taxes on middle-class Pennsylvanians and small businesses that have been crushed by this administration’s mishandling of COVID-19.
“I will not support the governor’s budget proposal in this form.
“I will continue to fight for economic recovery, protecting families and having a government for the 11th District constituents can be proud.”
To view Rep. Mustello’s comments following Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address, click here
Representative Marci Mustello
11th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)