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Pickett Not Surprised with Governor’s New Budget Plan
2/9/2016
HARRISBURG – Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) said today she is not surprised by the governor’s direction for the 2016-17 fiscal year, as evidenced by his budget address presented to the General Assembly today.

The $33.3 billion budget for 2016-17 would include $2.7 billion in new taxes each year, namely being funded through an 11 percent increase in the Personal Income Tax, one of the largest severance taxes in the nation, an expansion of the sales tax and a host of other tax hikes.

“I’m not surprised that the governor would continue to call for higher spending and tax increases, as this is exactly what he did last year,” Pickett said. “Obviously, the governor hasn’t yet realized that the people of Pennsylvania cannot afford to have more taken from their paychecks, and they expect us to be good stewards of their hard-earned money.

“I am also greatly concerned by his request for one of the largest severance taxes in the nation, and have numerous questions about whether or not the impact fee would remain as part of his plan,” Pickett continued. “With Marcellus drilling slowing down, our area is still in need of impact fee revenue to continue addressing the remaining effects. If the impact fee disappears, we know that most of the severance tax money would be siphoned away from our area to his other pet projects. That’s not fair to those along the Northern Tier and other drilling areas.”

Pickett was also deeply troubled by the lack of attention in the governor’s address to agriculture, the state’s top industry. In addition to his Dec. 29 line-item vetoes that cut billions in funding for important agriculture funding, his new budget proposal continues to ignore these vital areas.

“I am hopeful the governor will consider this proposal to be his first offer, negotiate with us in good faith and avoid an impasse,” Pickett said. “Even though his budget is very similar to the plan he wanted -- and didn’t get -- last year, I can only hope that he soon realizes that the people’s voices in our Commonwealth are being heard loud and clear, and they cannot afford this type of extravagant spending.”

More information about the budget proposal is available at PAHouseGOP.com.

Representative Tina Pickett
110th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
(717) 705-2094
jkeaton@pahousegop.com
RepPickett.com / Facebook.com/RepPickett
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