Governor Wolf Urges Meehan and Kelly to Vote No on Disastrous GOP Tax Plan

November 09, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf sent a letter to Representatives Meehan and Kelly, both members of the House Ways and Means Committee, urging them to vote ‘no’ on the Republican tax plan and asked that Washington work on a bipartisan tax reform plan that would benefit middle-class Pennsylvanians. Governor Wolf denounced the Republican attempt to eliminate important federal deductions for Pennsylvania workers and families being used to fund tax cuts for the richest Americans.

“Hardworking Pennsylvanians, seniors, and students should not be forced to fund tax breaks for the rich,” Governor Wolf said. “Instead of prioritizing the middle class, the bill drafted by House Republicans behind closed doors caters to the wealthy and large corporations. Even worse, small businesses and working-class homeowners will pay more under the Republican plan. Tax reform is an opportunity to help grow our economy and strengthen the middle class and this bill does nothing to further those goals. Instead, this bill puts the interests of the wealthiest one percent ahead of the interests of hard-working Pennsylvania families.”

According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, nearly half of the tax cuts contained in the bill go to the top 1% of households. Worse yet, down the road many of the modest cuts going to the average Pennsylvanian will disappear and they will end up paying more than they are today.

Among the tax deduction changes affect key breaks for middle-class families and seniors, which Governor Wolf opposes. These include:

  • Ending the medical expense deduction will hurt over 300,000 Pennsylvanians, mostly seniors with high medical expenses.
  • Eliminating the student loan interest deduction used by over 650,000 Pennsylvanians, which will make it costlier and add an additional barrier to higher education for current and future students.
  • Eliminating the educator expense deduction means 150,000 of the commonwealth’s teachers will not be able to deduct classroom supplies they purchase out of their own pocket.
  • Families adopting a child will no longer have the adoption tax credit available to them.

Read full text of the letter below. You can also view the letter on Scribd and as a PDF.

Dear Congressman Meehan:

As the House Ways and Means Committee considers H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act this week, I write to you to share my concerns over this bill’s misplaced priorities.

Tax reform is an opportunity to demonstrate our values, helping our constituents that need it the most. Instead of prioritizing the middle class, the bill drafted by House Republicans behind closed doors and without a single hearing or chance for public input, caters to the wealthy and large corporations. Small businesses and working-class homeowners are largely forgotten.

The tax credits and deductions that are eliminated in this bill are ones that are overwhelmingly used by middle class Pennsylvanians. The student loan interest deduction is used by over 650,000 Pennsylvanians. Eliminating this deduction will make it costlier and add an additional barrier to higher education for current and future students. Eliminating the educator expense deduction means 150,000 of the commonwealth’s teachers will not be able to deduct classroom supplies they purchase out of their own pocket. Families adopting a child will no longer have the adoption tax credit available to them. Ending the medical expense deduction will hurt over 300,000 Pennsylvanians, mostly seniors with high medical expenses.

According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, nearly half of the tax cuts contained in the bill go to the top 1% of households. Worse yet, down the road many of the modest cuts going to the average Pennsylvanian will disappear and they will end up paying more than they are today.

This bill is not what middle class Pennsylvanians need. I do not believe your constituents elected you to represent the interests of the wealthiest 1% at the expense of hard-working Pennsylvania families.

I urge you to vote no on this bill and instead work on an open and bipartisan tax reform plan that will benefit the Pennsylvanians that need it the most. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

TOM WOLF

Governor

11.8.17 Governor Wolf’s Letter on H.R. 1 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by Governor Tom Wolf on Scribd

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