State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

GOP schedules Wolf tax plans for vote

Written by Mary Wilson, Former Capitol Bureau Chief | Sep 30, 2015 6:11 PM

Photos by Associated Press

Republican state lawmakers say it's put up or give up time for Governor Tom Wolf's tax proposals.

GOP legislative leaders told reporters Wednesday that they plan to bring up the governor's latest tax plans for a vote in the House in exactly one week. They framed the move as a means to get budget negotiations moving again.

"If the votes are not there, the governor needs to recognize that," said GOP House Majority Leader Dave Reed, who for months has insisted that Wolf's proposed tax hikes can't possibly pass the Legislature.

"He needs to take his personal income tax and sales tax increase proposals off the table," said Reed, "and negotiate a budget that realistically could garner the votes and bring this budget impasse to a halt."

Reed added that if the tax package passes, Republicans are happy to bring up a spending bill so lawmakers can see how the money would be allocated.

According to GOP leaders, the governor's proposed tax package has changed. Reed referred to an early September proposal offered by Wolf during private budget negotiations. He said it still includes a tax on natural gas drillers and higher personal income taxes while nixing many of the exemptions for the sales tax. But the plan would no longer bring down property taxes. The Wolf administration did not return calls to confirm the details of a modified tax package.

A spokesman for the administration said in an e-mail that the governor "hopes to continue having conversations" with Republican lawmakers.

GOP leaders of the House and Senate said they raised the possibility of putting Wolf's tax proposals up for a vote last week. Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said they're giving the governor a deadline in order to advance budget negotiations as the impasse drags into October.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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