Rapp Votes Against Deficit-Increasing Budget Bill, Pledges to Go 74-0 Against Rendell Sales Tax Increases

Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) extended her perfect, nearly six-year, voting record of opposing any and all tax increases on Tuesday by voting against the  governor’s $29 billion 2010-11 state budget (House Bill 2279) due to more than $1.2 billion in increased spending—despite the $476 million and rising state budget deficit.

“Hopefully, the governor ‘invests’ his own money better than he handles the people of Pennsylvania’s,” said Rapp.  “The only rate of return we have to show for now going on eight fiscally irresponsible and unsustainable state budgets is billions of dollars in increased spending, billions of dollars in increased taxes and billions of dollars of interest-accruing debt that must be paid back by our children and grandchildren.   Both the outgoing governor and every state lawmaker that supports this legislation is literally writing a $29 billion blank check that Pennsylvania taxpayers neither asked for, or can afford to cash.”  

Since taking office in 2003, the Rendell administration has increased state spending by more than $8.6 billion or nearly twice the rate of inflation.   Relying on $850 million of stimulus dollars and other questionable federal funding not yet considered by Congress, House Bill 2279 now advances to the State Senate for consideration.  Since taking in office in January 2005, Rapp has opposed every tax increase and fiscally irresponsible state budget that has come before her on the House floor. 

Rapp also announced today that she will vote against the governor’s regressive proposal to impose the state sales tax on 74 tax-free every day household items, business and consumer services, including: 

  • Accounting, administrative, auditing, bookkeeping and legal services.
  • Advertising, catalogs and direct mail advertising, public relations and related services.
  • Admissions (for-profit) to camps, campgrounds, dance, historical sites, museums, music, performing arts, recreational parks, spectator sports admissions (excludes schools), theaters and zoos.
  • Air transportation, airline catering; amusement and recreation industries.
  • Architectural, engineering, dwellings, specialized design, uniform commercial code filing fees and other building related services.
  • Bad debts, call center credit, financial institution fees, gratuities, hotel-permanent resident fees and temporary usage.
  • Basic television; candy and gum; flags; magazines and newspapers; non-prescription drugs, personal hygiene products and text book purchases.
  • Burial vaults, caskets, crematories, funeral parlors, monument construction and other death care services.
  • Charges for returnable containers; coin operated food and beverage vending machines; and liquor or malt beverage purchased from retail dispensers.
  • Coal, firewood, fish feed and trout.
  • Commercial vessels (construction, equipment, maintenance and repair), common carriers, garages, helicopters, horses (Out-of-state purchases),  motor vehicles (Out-of-state purchases), parking lots, rail transportation equipment, school buses, stair lift devices, transit, ground and truck transportation.
  • Consulting (scientific, environmental, and technical), custom programming, design, data processing, information services, scientific research and development services.
  • Dry-cleaning, laundry and personal care services.
  • Electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning service fees and public utility manufacturing exemptions.
  • Investment coins and investment metal bullion.
  • Residential electric, fuel oil, gas and telephones.
  • Rental of films for commercial exhibition.
  • Tourist promotion agencies.
  • Veterinary fees.
  • Warehouse storage, wrapping and packing supplies.
  • Waste management and remediation services; water and sewage services.  

Survey results from research conducted by Quinnipiac University show that a significant number of Pennsylvanians join with Rapp in rejecting the key tax and spending increasing elements in Gov. Ed Rendell’s 2010-11 budget.  Nearly half of all survey respondents said the proposed spending increase is “too much,” and more than half also oppose the governor’s sales tax expansion plan.  Rendell’s aim to place a new tax on natural gas harvested in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region also failed to receive majority support from survey respondents.   

“Our Founding Fathers operated under the fundamental principle, that how much any government taxes and spends, is a direct indicator of how good or evil a society or government actually is,” said Rapp.  “From my reading of history, the governor’s justification for each of the individual tax and spending increases listed above ‘as an investment of only a few pennies,’ is precisely what ignited America’s Revolution to overthrow King George III.    In any case, taxing every product and service imaginable can in no way be defined as a path to economic recovery.  I will continue to stand with the majority of Pennsylvanians in advocating for a fiscally responsible state budget that reins in excessive government spending and does not raise or create new taxes.”

Rep. Kathy Rapp
65th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(814) 723-5203
(717) 787-1367


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