Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Highlights from the Governor's Budget Address

Governor Wolf gave his state budget address this morning, and it includes increases and changes to many programs. Here are some highlights, and below you can find a chart detailing some line items we found interesting/important. Tell us if there are other line items you want to see in the comments, or find them here.

Education:
  • Pre-K, public schools, public universities, community colleges, and the state system of higher education will all receive increased funding. 
    • According to the Governor's budget address, the state share of public funding will be 50%.
    • Governor Wolf also called on all institutions of higher education to freeze tuition
Taxes:
  • A new severance tax will be tied to education funding. It is projected to bring in $1B in revenue each year.
  • The personal income tax will go up to 3.7%, and the sales tax will go up to 6.6% and will include "include services that currently are not taxed because special interest groups have lobbied for special exemptions."
  • The budget also cuts the corporate net income tax rate by 40 percent in the first year and 50 percent by 2018.
  • As of January 2016, Capital Stock and Franchise Tax will be phased out. 
  • A new line item will transfer $2.1 B to property tax relief.
Economy:
  • Governor Wolf is calling for a minimum wage increase to $10.10/hour.
Health:

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