Bill alert -- House Bill 13 is not "budget neutral"

(Mar 10, 2020)

House Bill 13 would tax pensions, clothes and medication, as well as increase the sales and income taxes you pay in order to cut property taxes on homes and properties owned by corporations. Read more


One of Philadelphia’s richest law firms wants tax breaks, again. Why it might get its way.

(Mar 08, 2020)

Dechert LLP, one of Philadelphia’s wealthiest law firms, where partners made $3 million each in profits last year, wants to move its headquarters into a virtually tax-free zone in the city. Read more


Medicaid block grant proposals spell trouble for patients and hospitals

(Feb 10, 2020)

Medicaid is a longstanding partnership between states and the federal government to provide care to the poorest and sickest among us. A pair of proposals from Washington threaten to upset this joint commitment and fray the nation’s perilously thin safety net for vulnerable patients.Together, these proposals stand to trigger an erosion of the impressive gains we’ve made for patients across our country and region this past decade. Read more


Fracking has led to a ‘bust’ for Pennsylvania school district finances

(Feb 10, 2020)

n the last decade, unconventional natural gas development has transformed American energy — as well as communities across Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region.Often popularly referred to as “fracking,” this highly industrialized process is used to extract energy resources from underground geologies such as shale or sandstone. Read more


House subcommittee on taxes hearing focuses on business climate in Pa

(Mar 01, 2018)

HARRISBURG, March 1 – The House Finance Committee’s Select Subcommittee on Tax Modernization and Reform held a second hearing to discuss Pennsylvania’s income tax and businesses on Feb. 20, said House Finance Committee Democratic Chairman Jake Wheatley. Leaders from the National Federation of Independent Business and the Pennsylvania Certified Institute of Certified Public Accountants provided testimony. Discussions focused on business taxes, what drives entrepreneurs to other states and how they, along with college graduates, could be kept in Pennsylvania. Democratic members in attendance included Wheatley, D-Allegheny, and Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery. For more information about the Democratic members of the House Finance Committee, visit its webpage . Read more


First public hearing on tax issues held

(Nov 20, 2017)

Last week, the House Finance Committee's Select Subcommittee on Tax Modernization and Reform held its first public hearing. It was very informative and a positive first step as we focused on the history and background of state demographics and taxes in the Commonwealth. This select subcommittee was created through a resolution that I introduced to review the ways the state collects revenue and the collective impact on taxpayers, and suggest improvements. I believe that this select subcommittee is key to giving legislators an idea as to what steps are needed to ensure that all vital services our citizens look to their government to provide are sustained. We plan to do this by reviewing the state's various revenue-generating mechanisms, determining what is needed to sustain the state for the future and whether changes are needed. The select subcommittee members are engaged and energized for this task. To watch the hearing, click here or on the image below. Read more


The firestorm next time: Pa. ill-prepared for next recession or budget

(Oct 23, 2017)

Rep. Jake Wheatley, Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee, says if you think Pennsylvania's budget debacle is bad now, just wait until the next recession. Pennsylvania is substantially unprepared for the next downturn and would face major economic repercussions. Read more


Wheatley leads effort for gas drillers to help close budget hole

(Oct 18, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, and members of the House Finance Committee today approved seeking a higher tax on the companies extracting record volumes of natural gas from shale formations deep under Pennsylvania. “Pennsylvania is facing a serious budget crisis and this is one sensible step toward fixing it. We need to start collecting this recurring revenue from companies that can easily afford to pay it,” Wheatley said. Currently, Pennsylvania is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the country, but is the only major gas-producing state that does not impose a drilling tax. The bill (H.B. 1401) would impose a severance tax on natural gas extraction based on a well's production volume and the average annual price of natural gas. Drillers would be prohibited from passing the tax onto landowners. Wheatley said the measure could be considered by the full House as early as next week, if Republican leaders permit it to happen. “We’ve already wasted too much precious time arguing about a sensible tax that every other natural gas state already uses,” Wheatley said. “We’ve forfeited millions of dollars in untapped revenue that should have been used to pay for schools, health care and many other things the state is obligated to provide. “I and most members of the House believe we should activate this new revenue stream and make the gas drillers carry their share of the load, Read more


Pa. House GOP leaders, Trump White House double down on formula for failure

(Oct 11, 2017)

Rep. Jake Wheatley, Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee, says the House Republican Caucus needs adult supervision for Its formula for failure on the months-late state budget. Read more


Wheatley: Latest House GOP budget defies logic, fiscal responsibility

(Sep 13, 2017)

Rep. Jake Wheatley reports that said a House Republican revenue plan advanced late Sept. 13 doubles down on the fiscal gimmickry that has created a $2.2 billion hole in Pennsylvania’s months-late budget. Read more


Wheatley helps unveil House Democratic budget alternative

(Sep 13, 2017)

Rep. Jake Wheatley, Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee, says House Democrats have a responsible budget plan that borrows less, relies on real revenues and can enacted before the state's coffers go bone dry. Read more


About the House Democratic Finance webpage

(Jul 20, 2017)

The House Finance Committee is tasked with reviewing bills relating to all financial matters for the state. Tax collection rates and policies are regularly reviewed, as well as policies that create or build on programs financed by the state. State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, is the Democratic chairman of the committee. He believes the committee's priority is to consider all legislation in the context of the state budget and how bills would impact the state’s bottom line and revenue outlook, as well as provide the means to pay for it. A recurring talking point of the Republican majority is that Pennsylvania must reduce its spending. However, the committee is regular asked to consider Republican-sponsored legislation that would increase spending, sometimes by hundreds of millions of dollars, but offer no means to pay for it. “Pennsylvanians deserve to be clear about our choices. Members of the House Finance Committee are the revenue stewards of the commonwealth. When the only bills we pass out of committee are tax credits and tax cuts, without discussing the loss of revenue to the state or the means to pay for it, we are not doing our jobs,” Chairman Wheatly said. This story has been unfolding for years. It’s past time to show Pennsylvanians not only the work of the committee, but the Republican double standard where it exists so that we can take an honest look at how to move Pennsylvania forward with a state budget and spending Read more


Wheatley calls on House GOP leaders to return to work and complete budget

(Jul 12, 2017)

HARRISBURG, July 12 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, today called on the Republican leaders of the state House of Representatives to return to Harrisburg and complete work on the overdue 2017-18 state budget. “I am requesting that the speaker of the House call the House back into session and keep working until we successfully vote on a revenue package that pays all of the bills of the commonwealth,” said Wheatley, Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee. “The spending bill has gone into effect but we still need to pay for it with sustainable funding.” Wheatley said the legislature’s dismissal – the House and Senate are on a six-hour recall notice -- came Tuesday just hours after the governor allowed the spending plan to lapse into law without his signature. “House Democrats are ready to roll up our sleeves and finish what is needed,” Wheatley said. “We are prepared to find common ground, make the difficult-yet-responsible choices, and get the job done.” Wheatley said no more than 18 percent of the majority Republicans’ proposed-but-stalled revenue package consisted of recurring revenue needed to fix a structural budget shortfall exceeding $2 billion. “It’s our duty to step up to the plate and make the tough choices to pay for all of the services and spending priorities everyone agrees we want and need,” Wheatley said. “We need a responsible plan and Read more


Wheatley, O’Neill name members of Select Subcommittee on Tax Modernization and Reform

(Jun 27, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 27 – House Finance Committee Minority Chairman Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, and Majority Chairman Bernie O’Neill, R-Bucks, today announced the members of the House Finance Committee who have been appointed to the newly formed Select Subcommittee on Tax Modernization and Reform. The subcommittee was established through Wheatley’s H.R. 327 to investigate and review Pennsylvania’s tax laws, explore other states’ best practices and methods for levying and collecting various taxes, and develop recommendations to encourage equitable and fair tax policy. Five Republican and four Democratic members will serve on the subcommittee. The appointed members are: Rep. Eli Evankovich (R-Westmoreland/Allegheny) – Chairman Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) Rep. Michael Corr (R-Montgomery) Rep. George Dunbar (R-Westmoreland) Rep. Fred Keller (R-Snyder/Union) Rep. Mary Jo Daley (D-Montgomery) Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) Rep. Christopher Rabb (D-Philadelphia) Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks) “This subcommittee will perform important work, giving us ideas on how we can modernize our tax collection system,” Wheatley said. “Most importantly, my hope is for the subcommittee to delve into deeper issues than just taxing and spending, and try to determine the vision for our commonwealth in the future and how best to pay for it.” “The members of this select subcommittee will play a crucial Read more


Wheatley resolution calling for examination of tax system unanimously adopted by House

(Jun 19, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 19 – The House today unanimously adopted H.R. 327 , a resolution by state Rep. Jake Wheatley calling for creation of a select subcommittee to thoroughly examine Pennsylvania’s tax collection system and suggest improvements. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, previously gained approval for the measure from the House Finance Committee, where he serves as Democratic chairman. As envisioned by Wheatley, the Select Subcommittee on Tax Modernization and Reform would be tasked with making a thorough review of the process, rates and methods by which the commonwealth collects revenue – and the collective impact on taxpayers. “I am pleased that this resolution garnered bipartisan support in the full House, just as it did earlier in the Finance Committee,” Wheatley said. “This subcommittee will perform important work, giving us ideas on how we can modernize our tax collection system and methods to ensure that government services are sustained at needed levels.” Wheatley said he wants the subcommittee to delve into deeper issues than just taxing and spending, and look into the realms of what the commonwealth is seeking to create or achieve in its budgeting process. A review of Pennsylvania’s various revenue-generating mechanisms – including whether they are sustainable and in need of changes – should be central to the subcommittee’s work, said Wheatley. Read more


Fiscal responsibility falls on the Democrats

(May 10, 2017)

On May 9, the House Finance Committee voted to approve legislation increasing funding for the Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit Program (NAP) from $18 million to $36 million. While most of my fellow Democrats on the committee voted against the bill, every Democratic member who spoke at the meeting agreed the NAP is genuinely one of the most beneficial and worthwhile programs the Commonwealth offers. Their commentary expressed sincere support for the NAP and the desire to see the funding ultimately increased. As the vote was taken, each were faced with a very difficult choice between their appreciation and support of the NAP, and their duties as responsible fiscal stewards of the Commonwealth. We were forced to make our choices in light of the recently revised estimate of a $1.2 billion budget deficit and knowing the House had already sent the Senate a budget with $850 million in cuts to everything from protecting the environment to social services to education. As House Finance Committee members, the Democrats have been consistent with their message and their votes since day one. The committee’s priority is to consider how to best invest taxpayer dollars. Sometimes that means still saying no to a bill adding funding to a worthy program. This bill had no source of revenue identified to support the increase. Increasing NAP funding under these circumstances would simply take money away from another worthy program. That is not how the House Democrats envision their Read more


Wheatley calls for realistic action from House Finance Committee

(Apr 24, 2017)

HARRISBURG, April 25 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said he is becoming increasingly frustrated by the Republican majority’s double standard when it comes to legislation that will have a dramatic effect on Pennsylvania’s budget and financial outlook. Wheatley, who is Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee, said committee members today were forced to vote on a package of tax-related bills introduced by House Republicans that would add $137.5 million to Pennsylvania’s spending, or budget deficit, without offering a way to pay for it. “The majority party continues to introduce and pass out of the Finance Committee legislation that would increase Pennsylvania’s already massive budget deficit and not offer the way to pay for it,” Wheatley said. “When we give away money to one sector, we are cutting money in our budget.” Wheatley said while the GOP bills have the laudable goal of leveling the playing field for mom and pop shops and small businesses, the methods used by House Republicans at the committee level are disingenuous and not in the best interest of taxpayers. “I commend the work and the effort toward helping our small businesses succeed and our economy thrive, for it is a shared goal of House Democrats,” Wheatley said. “I was even pleased to hear the Republican sponsor of this package admit that big business has a more favorable tax environment Read more