HARRISBURG – The Cumberland County delegation to the state House of Representatives Wednesday were dismayed Gov. Tom Wolf’s annual budget address made no mention of fixing his dysfunctional unemployment system or addressing the economic distress his unilateral decisions to shut some business down is causing.
Delegation members, Reps. Barb Gleim (R-Cumberland), Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland), Torren Ecker (R-Cumberland/Adams), Dawn Keefer (R-Cumberland/York), Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) and Perry Stambaugh (R-Perry/Cumberland, issued the following statement:
“While desperate constituents continue to call our offices for assistance with unemployment compensation woes that the Wolf administration continues to ignore, another issue just beginning to generate mass amounts of phone calls and emails are from elderly constituents desperate to find someone who will give them a vaccine shot. Again, Wolf has no answers except a tax hike.
“The centerpiece of Wolf’s budget proposal is the largest tax hike in Pennsylvania history—a massive 46% increase in the state income tax on working middle-class families and small businesses. These are the same businesses, and their now-unemployed workers, Wolf’s haphazard shutdown orders have hurt the most.
“This governor’s budget does nothing to prioritize vaccine distribution or getting Pennsylvania back to pre-COVID “normal.” Those are ways to increase revenue – not raising taxes.
“In fact, Wolf’s massive tax hike hammers local, small businesses. Most small businesses—sole owners, partnerships, LLCs, and S-Corporations—pay the Personal Income Tax. Approximately 855,000 small business owners paid the Personal Income Tax in 2018.
“Our local businesses and their employees – hard-working, middle-class parents and families – need help, but Wolf seems to be doing everything he can to destroy their livelihoods.
“First, he enforced business shutdown orders, then he vetoed legislation to protect business owners from frivolous lawsuits. Now—just when they can start to get back on their feet—Wolf proposes burying restaurants, bars, salons, small gyms, dry cleaners and a whole host of others with a massive small business tax hike. And small businesses that lost money in 2020, unlike their corporate competitors, can’t even deduct their losses in future years.
Wolf needs to be accountable to the people he has put out of work and those for whom he has instilled desperate fear of COVID-19. Clearly, ordering businesses shuttered and ignoring suffering workers is much easier than the hard work of developing an orderly and transparent logistical plan for getting the vaccine out to those who want it.”
Cumberland County Delegation
Pennsylvania General Assembly
Media Contact: Charles Lardner