Four Facets of Gov. Wolf’s Tax Plan

Published June 15, 2015

On Wednesday, I testified before the Senate Finance Committee on the effects of Gov. Wolf’s proposed tax increases. My testimony covered four key areas.

1) Wolf’s plan represents more of the “same old, same old.”

Total state spending is already at an all-time high, and has gone up 44 of the past 45 years—a $16,000 increase per family of four in inflation adjusted dollars.

Pennsylvania’s tax burden currently ranks 10th highest in the nation, up from 25th in 1991. As a result, Pennsylvania has lagged the nation in job and income growth.

2) Wolf’s plan hurts middle class families.

Gov. Wolf’s tax increase represents a net increase of $1,400 per family of four. An Independent Fiscal Office analysis found that taxpayers in every single income group would pay more.

Moreover, families with certain expenses—such as day care or nursing care costs—would be hit far harder than the average family, with hundreds or thousands of dollars in additional costs.

3) Wolf’s plan will cost Pennsylvania jobs.

Our analysis finds Wolf’s tax proposal would result in 40,000 fewer private sector jobs in Pennsylvania by 2016-17.

4) We can balance the budget without raising taxes

Commonwealth Foundation has outlined several solutions to slow spending growth and prioritize state spending.

You can watch my testimony below, or read the full testimony here.

Gov. Wolf’s Tax Proposals


Nathan Benefield ([email protected]) is Vice President of Policy Analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation. Reprinted with permission.

An earlier version of this article appeared at