Rapp Votes ‘No’ on Taxes to Fund Budget Overspending
HARRISBURG – Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren) voted in opposition Wednesday to a bill imposing more than $750 million in new taxes to pay for the 2016-17 state budget, which she also voted against in late June.

“I am extremely disappointed by the level of spending in this year’s budget,” Rapp said. “Taxpayers cannot afford a 5 percent increase in spending in their own budgets, and the state shouldn’t ask them to foot the bill for more spending by Harrisburg.

“This budget takes us in the wrong direction. Instead of higher taxes and higher spending, we should be cutting spending and living within our means,” she added.

The $31.63 billion state budget represents a $1.6 billion increase in spending over the prior fiscal year. Although lawmakers succeeded in stopping the governor’s significant income and sales tax hike proposals, Rapp said the patchwork effort to pay for this year’s spending plan will only make the state’s fiscal problems worse when it comes time to prepare the 2017-18 budget.

The $750 million tax hike includes a $1 per pack increase on cigarettes, as well as new taxes on smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco. The sales tax will now be applied to digital downloads, including video, books, games, music and satellite radio services. The 2016-17 Tax Code bill also includes a new tax on lottery winnings, an increase in the bank shares tax and an increase in the table games tax.

Additional revenue required to balance the budget comes from a one-time tax amnesty program, a planned expansion of gaming and reforms to the state’s liquor sales system. 
Representative Kathy Rapp
65th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Ty McCauslin

Share |