State House Again Defeats Wolf Tax Increase, Say Emrick
HARRISBURG - State Rep. Joe Emrick (R-Nazareth) joined the majority of his House colleagues today in turning aside Gov. Tom Wolf’s attempt to raise taxes by $3.8 billion over two years. In pursuing what would have been the largest tax increase in Pennsylvania history, the governor proposed increasing the Personal Income Tax (PIT) from 3.07 percent to 3.57 percent and imposing an estimated 14 percent total severance tax that included 3.5 percent on natural gas drillers and an additional 4.7 cents per 1,000 cubic feet (equal to an additional 5 percent tax) on top of the existing impact fee.

Emrick issued the following statement after the vote:

“With bipartisan defeat of what would have been the largest tax increase in state history, Gov. Tom Wolf must finally bring to the negotiating table a budget bill that has the votes in both the House and Senate. Today’s vote was the result of the governor going against some of the very things he has been endorsing since taking office.

“He repeatedly claimed his severance tax proposal would result in $1 billion in new revenue for our schools. Wolf’s latest proposal, which would have been the highest severance tax in the nation, proved to be false, as it actually would generate only $200 million over two years. This is far less than the Legislature’s last offer of $400 million in 2015-16 alone. He also could not guarantee how this tax revenue, or any tax revenue for that matter, would be distributed after reaching the General Fund.

“What he pitched as property tax relief is frighteningly similar to something you’ve seen before. Gov. Ed Rendell once tried the same tactic with gaming money and the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. We all know how good that ‘relief’ felt. With his inability to guarantee a path out of the General Fund for the severance tax and PIT revenue, Rendell 2.0 would not have been far away.

“What the House told Gov. Wolf today is there is no one left to tax. It’s time to do the math and come up with a plan that has the votes to pass.”

Questions about this or any legislative issue should be directed to Emrick’s district office at (570) 897-0401 or (610) 746-5090.

Representative Joe Emrick
137th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Scott Little
717.260.6137 /
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