PA Gov says income tax hike needed to plug bigger than expected shortfall

    Reaction to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell’s call for an income tax hike is falling along strict party lines. The two sides appear to be far apart.

    Reaction to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell’s call for an income tax hike is falling along strict party lines. The two sides appear to be far apart.

    Governor Rendell says increasing Pennsylvania’s personal income tax by a half-percentage point is the best way to bridge a three point two billion dollar budget gap.
    But Republican lawmakers disagree.
    House Minority Leader Sam Smith says raising tax rates would have a significant impact on Pennsylvania families.

    Listen:

    [audio:090616sdhike.mp3]

    Smith: To the people that are living on a household income of $40,000 to $50,000 a year, that’s the difference between them being able to go on a family vacation, or keep their kids in Little League, or their pool membership, or whatever. Those are important things to average families.

    Rendell wants to increase the rate to 3.57 percent, which amounts to an extra $250 a year, or $5 a week, for a person making $50,000
    He insists the increase would only last for three years, but Smith and other Republicans say any tax hike would quickly become permanent.

    House Democratic leaders say they’re supporting the effort.

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