When Pennsylvania governor, Tom Wolf, gave his State of the State address on February 5, he said his budget proposal for the year asked for, “no new taxes. Not one dollar. Not one dime. Not one penny.” However, this turned out to be a lie. Just days before, the governor announced a plan to restore infrastructure across the Keystone state, that would be funded by a severance tax on natural gas drillers.
This tax is a double-tax on natural gas extraction that attacks the energy sector and will drive jobs and investment out of Pennsylvania, ultimately resulting in more expensive energy for families in the state. Not only is this proposal horrible policy, but it has already been repeatedly rejected by the state’s legislature over the past couple of years. Wolf is using infrastructure as an excuse to grab money at the expense of the state’s economy and taxpayers. This could definitely result in more than “one penny” in tax increases for Pennsylvanians, contrary to Governor Wolf’s remarks at the State of the State.
It is clear that protecting Pennsylvania taxpayers is not at the top of Governor Wolf’s legislative priorities for his term, as he has also once again called for raising the minimum wage in the state to $15. This minimum wage increase is clearly a move to appease the “Fight for $15” movement that claims to care about workers, yet advocates a policy that will kill jobs and shutter businesses. Radical minimum wages not only cost jobs, but also directly drive up costs for state and local governments, and consequently, taxpayers.