Pennsylvania: Push to Increase Sales Tax Continues
- Nov 18, 2015 | Gail Cole
The budget for Pennsylvania was supposed to be established last summer. Yet just a week away from Thanksgiving, the Keystone State is still struggling to come up with a plan to fund essential services like education. The situation would be laughable if it weren’t kind of tragic.
Governor Tom Wolfe has a plan to increase personal income tax and sales tax and eliminate school district property taxes for many households. To date, he hasn’t had much success in turning that plan into reality (his initial budget failed to obtain the needed support). But recently there has been news that the Democratic governor has found some accord with lawmakers.
Senate Bill 76, introduced in late June by Senator David Argall, may have traction. The bill seeks to increase personal income tax from 3.07% to 4.34%. Sales tax would jump from the current rate of 6% to 7% and be expanded to many services that are currently exempt, including basic telecommunications services, tickets to cultural, recreational and sporting events, and some professional services (think accountants, architects, attorney, financial institutions, funeral parlors, and hair salons).
Will it succeed? No one can know for sure. A vote planned for Tuesday, November 17, was put off to sort out “various issues.” It is currently planned for next week.
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