Governor Wolf Submits Plan to Fix Deficit, Fund Education and Provide Property Tax Relief for Seniors, Disabled

October 06, 2015

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today joined House Democratic Leadership in putting forth an amendment in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to fix the commonwealth’s structural budget deficit, fund K-12 education and provide expanded property tax relief to seniors and disabled households.

“Pennsylvania needs critical revenue to fix our structural budget deficit without gimmicks. We need to make sure oil and gas companies pay their fair share so we can restore the drastic cuts made to education, and seniors and disabled households desperately need relief from skyrocketing property taxes that resulted from underfunding education,” said Governor Wolf. “If we do not fix our deficit, our credit rating will be downgraded to junk status and we will be forced to cut more funding from education. More education cuts will lead to the layoffs of more educators, further increases to class sizes and skyrocketing property taxes. We must get Pennsylvania’s financial house in order and invest in our future. The plan filed today gives the commonwealth an opportunity to move forward and away from the failed status quo.”

Governor Wolf’s plan:

  • Increases the Personal Income Tax from 3.07 percent to 3.57 percent.
  • Enacts a severance tax of 3.5 percent + 4.7 cents per thousand cubic feet. This proposal would leave the impact fee completely in place.
  • Eliminates school district property taxes for 216,344 new senior households and 30,915 new disabled households.
Property Tax Relief or Elimination for Senior Citizens and Disabled Households:
  • An increase in the Personal Income Tax to 3.57 percent will have little impact on seniors, who do not pay income tax on retirement income. Additionally, this proposal provides expanded property tax relief for seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans.
    • Expanded eligibility to assist 569,000 senior citizens and disabled.
    • Eliminate school district property taxes for a total of 331,000 senior citizens and disabled.
    • Increased rebates for all eligible applicants up to a maximum of $2,000.
    • Excludes all veteran disability benefit payments from income eligibility calculation.
Tax Forgiveness for Working Families:
  • The special tax forgiveness program will be expanded to benefit 426,000 households.
  • Under the expansion, a family of four earning $36,400 and a family of six earning $55,400 would pay no state income tax.
Commonsense Severance Tax:
  • Brings Pennsylvania into line with every other gas-producing state in the country.
  • Allows drillers to deduct post-production costs.
  • Guarantees leaseholders minimum 12.5% royalty payments.
  • Leaves the current impact fee in place and untouched.
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