(8/2016) This November, Pennsylvania voters will decide between a 5-term incumbent who gives lip service to protecting their tax dollars and a challenger who will actually do so.
Incumbent Representative Dan Moul was elected in 2006 on promises to lower taxes. It hasn’t happened. In 2006, the state tax rate on personal income was 3.07%. Ten years later, the state tax rate on personal income is still 3.07%. What has changed is that we get fewer services for our state tax dollars.
The growing expenses that our legislature is unable or unwilling to reduce are simply shifted to property taxes, county taxes, local taxes, and individual taxes on everything from gasoline and tires to hotel rooms and car rentals.
School taxes increase steadily as the state pays a smaller percentage of education expenses while mandating more services. And let’s not forget the pension shortfall – which the legislature has known about since 2001. Their unwillingness to fix the problem over the last 15 years is why every school district within the 91st legislative district is increasing taxes this
Not only are we spending too much in Pennsylvania, we’re spending it on the wrong things.
Overpaid Legislature: $85,000 to start plus full benefits and perks, plus tax free per diems, is too much to pay representatives who are unwilling to complete the top two functions of their job: to set our state priorities by proportional allocation of state funding, and to pass a balanced budget. The state house costs taxpayers $10.7 million a year, including $1.4 million
in per diems. We should cut at least 20% from that total and require lawmakers to submit receipts for actual expenses.
Gambling Payouts: Gambling is supposed to make tax money, not take it. So why are we sending $246 million this year to the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund? Or devoting $145,000 a year to EACH Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board member for what is essentially part-time work? Now compare the $236 million horse race subsidy to the $209 million allocated for the
Pennsylvania Dept. of Health. With a full third of our state budget spent on Medicaid, shouldn’t improving public health be more important than upping the purse payouts at the tracks?
Prisons: Pennsylvania spends more money on prisons than on higher education. Not surprising when it costs $41,000 a year to keep an offender in state prison – money that would better spent on job creation and training, both of which reduce crime.
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