LETTER: Pa. GOP ignoring will of the people
When is a tax hike not a tax hike? If you ask state Rep. Mike Regan and the Pennsylvania GOP it's when you make someone else hikes that tax — because that's what their so-called "no tax increase" budgets have been doing since the days of Gov. Tom Corbett.
While they pat themselves on the back, you are paying higher taxes because school districts in every county in the state have raised property taxes and counties have been forced to raise taxes to make up for the cuts. This year's plan is even worse — they're basically using one credit card to pay off another credit card and then hoping the mailman loses next month's bill.
I am a constituent of Rep. Regan and recently received his e-newsletter that includes a "top 10" list of why Republicans dislike Gov. Wolf's budget proposal.
Now they're accusing Gov. Wolf of wanting to do, well, exactly what he ran on and won by a landslide promising to do — finally deliver some property tax relief to our seniors and working families by asking billion-dollar out-of-state gas companies to finally kick in instead of just taking the gas from the ground and running the way they've been doing.
And before anyone starts crying "impact fee" — that only affects counties that have gas wells, and York and Dauphin counties have none. When you add in the fact that the bulk of the extraction tax will be paid by out-of-state gas customers you have to start wondering what the GOP leadership is thinking.
Oh, wait, I know. They're thinking, "I sure hope nobody does a 'Top 10 Gas Company Campaign Checks in my Re-Election Fund' list!"
So, let's review. You're paying higher property taxes. You're getting a pittance from gas drilling (compared to the gas drilling profits). Pennsylvania ranks 44th in the share of funding schools in the nation. Yet GOP leaders still insist on ignoring the will of the people.
Gov. Wolf's plan will cut property taxes and help keep seniors in their homes. Gov. Wolf's plan will finally give our kids the tools they need to succeed. Gov. Wolf's plan does the right thing to finally move Pennsylvania forward. I hope Rep. Regan will start emailing his bosses in Harrisburg and say, "Hey, let's give the people what they asked for. Let's get back to the negotiating table and do the right thing and pass a real budget that pays our bills."