Snyder: Compromise budget off target on property taxes

HARRISBURG, Oct. 7 – State Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, today said she voted against a budget plan because it fell short on key concerns, especially property tax relief.

“Every Pennsylvania homeowner deserves a property tax decrease,” Snyder said. “Unfortunately, the measure defeated today failed in that respect and would have done too little to move the commonwealth toward an education funding system based on ability to pay and not property.”

Snyder said the measure, defeated 73-127 – would increase state revenue by a projected $1.4 billion in the current fiscal year and $2.4 billion in the next through a half-point increase in the Personal Income Tax to 3.57 percent.

“Increasing a broad-based levy such as the income tax should produce benefits for a wider range of Pennsylvanians,” Snyder said. “Instead, the proposal neglected property tax relief for working folks, asking a family making $53,000 annually to pay more than $5 a week more in income taxes.

“I am working to make taxes fairer on the middle class and working families, not put more of the tax load on it,” Snyder said. “A more than 16 percent increase in income taxes and a severance tax on natural gas drillers must bring with it commensurate benefits, but this good-faith attempt came up just short.”

Snyder said the defeated revenue bill also was lackluster in restoring the devastating cuts to public education, noting that only $67 million more in education funding during 2015-16 was anticipated.

“We should expect more for our tax dollars,” Snyder said.

Although disappointed that a budget accord was not reached Wednesday, Snyder said she is not discouraged and will continue working hard for a fair, sensible solution.

“The Republican budget that the governor vetoed was abject chicanery, and the bill that was defeated today sought compromises but came up lacking,” Snyder said. “We now have more budget parameters, so it’s time to build on the efforts and knuckle down to agree on a state budget that benefits more Pennsylvanians.

“Even though the plan was loosely aimed at the right direction, it was off by enough degrees that it ended up missing the mark on key issues such as property tax reform, job creation and education funding,” Snyder said. “In the final tally, I could not justify the tax increases for the muted benefits.”