Contact: Eric Epstein
Reformers Call for A Tax Break for Working Pennsylvanians
Amount Should Reflect the Legislature’s Annual Pay and Pension COLA
(Harrisburg, Pa) – A press conference and visual display to announce a tax relief plan for working class Pennsylvanians will be held on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 10:00 am in the Rotunda of the Main Capitol.
Barry Shutt, a Lower Paxton Township resident and head of Grandparents for Pension Reform, stated, “As we begin negotiations for the 2018-19 Commonwealth budget, we urge the legislature and the Governor to push for a tax cut. The tax cut we are proposing is for the lowest income earners in Pennsylvania: those who benefit annually from the Tax Forgiveness provision of the Commonwealth’s Personal Income Tax.” Shutt added, “It’s the right thing to do. Let’s stop penalizing and raising taxes on the poorest among us.”*
Eric Epstein from RocktheCapital.org said, “For 18 years, those at the lowest income levels have effectively had their PIT Tax Forgiveness eroded 47% while in that same time period, legislators and other top-level state employees, by function of the annual and automatic COLA, have had their salaries increased by that same 47%.” Epstein added,“We need to ensure that inflation is not a penalty for the most vulnerable among us.”
Both men are proposing an annual incremental solution over the next eight years. Thereafter, the PIT would adjusted annually and automatically on December 1 by the same COLA percentage enjoyed by legislators and other top officials in the Executive and Judicial branches of state government. The phase in approach would cost approximately $24.2 million per year.
* The Tax Forgiveness provision of the PIT was instituted when Pennsylvania first imposed its income tax in 1971 and appropriately reflected the belief of the Governor and the General Assembly at the time that those at the bottom of the income scale should not be burdened by the new tax.