Simmons: Wolf Budget Proposal Not Grounded in Reality
HARRISBURG – Expressing disappointment in Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2015-16 budget proposal, Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton) said he cannot support the spending and tax increases that it contains. The governor unveiled his $33.8 billion budget blueprint today before a joint session of the General Assembly.

The governor called for $4.7 billion in additional state spending and would help pay for it by raising the Personal Income Tax by 21 percent and the sales tax by 10 percent. His proposal also imposes a 7.5 percent severance tax on the natural gas industry.

Simmons released the following statement regarding the proposed state budget:

“The governor’s budget proposal is not grounded in reality and I am extremely disappointed in the plan he presented today. Never before in the history of Pennsylvania have we seen a spending increase of this size.

“Raising the Personal Income Tax from 3.07 percent to 3.70 percent will be a real kick in the gut to hard-working Pennsylvanians and small businesses. And to add more insult to injury, he wants to raise the sales tax from 6 percent to 6.6 percent and expand it to include 300 different items, such as baby diapers, nursing home care, wheelchairs and walkers.

“I must add that I do applaud his Corporate Net Income Tax reduction proposal and continued phaseout of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax. That being said, any broad-based tax increase tied to property taxes must include full school property tax elimination, not a reduction. I don’t want to see the people get duped again like they did with gambling.”

“We must keep in mind though that this is just a proposal. I am extremely hopeful that Governor Wolf will come back to the table and help us produce a budget that doesn’t punish hard-working Pennsylvanians and is grounded in reality.

Simmons pointed out the governor’s address was just the start of the budget process. Three weeks of hearings, conducted by the House Appropriations Committee, will begin on Monday, March 9, where representatives from state departments and agencies will be questioned about their spending requests. The state constitution requires that a budget be adopted by June 30.

For more information on Simmons and his legislative priorities, please visit or

Representative Justin Simmons
131st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Andy Briggs
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