Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf is calling for a progressive Pennsylvania income tax that targets the wealthy. But he faces a challenge in order to make it feasible.
The state constitution requires taxes to be uniform, and the state Supreme Court has interpreted that to mean no special tax rates for different income levels.
That should rule out progressive income taxes, and, in the past, it has.
But Wes Leckrone, a political science professor at Widener University, said there are a variety of deductions and credits in place on income taxes.
“We have income-tax forgiveness in Pennsylvania … everybody, in effect, doesn’t pay the same rates of income taxes in Pennsylvania,” he said.
To get around the state constitution’s restrictions, Wolf’s campaign said he would raise Pennsylvania’s current 3.07 percent income tax rate and offer all taxpayers the same exemption of income.
The wealthier an individual, the more income falls above that exemption level, and the more tax he or she would pay.
The campaign isn’t releasing the proposed tax rate or the exemption level.