Pashinski, Policy Committee explore tax fairness in Pennsylvania

WILKES-BARRE, Aug. 20 – State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing at Kings College to discuss tax fairness issues in Pennsylvania.

Pashinski has been a proponent of instituting a Marcellus Shale severance tax, reducing the Corporate Net Income tax while closing reporting loopholes such as the Delaware loophole, finding a way to reduce property taxes and exploring adjustments to the Personal Income Tax and Sales and Use Tax to better serve Pennsylvania’s middle class. Pashinski was joined by Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and state legislators from across the state.

“Taxation issues in Pennsylvania can be overly burdensome on the middle class and House Democrats have put forth a plan to change that,” Pashinski said. “I’ve supported options in the legislature to alleviate the pain of property taxes as well as lowering our high Corporate Net Income Tax combined with closing reporting loopholes and instituting a balanced Marcellus Shale tax to ensure corporations pay their fair share. The devil is always in the details and getting a majority of the legislature on board with a single plan is no easy task.”

Sturla added: “Whenever you talk about tax fairness, one of the main topics is always property tax reform. House Democrats have supported Governor Tom Wolf’s property tax relief plan and various other relief plans that have been floated in the legislature. However, any property tax relief or elimination plan must work for Pennsylvania, and so far, we haven’t seen an elimination plan that truly provides the necessary funding to meet our constitutional obligation to provide a quality education to Pennsylvania’s children.”

The committee heard testimony from Stephen Herzenberg, executive director, Keystone Research Center; Jim Rodkey, Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations; Ron Boltz, president, Pennsylvania Liberty Alliance; and Tony Grieco, executive director, Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18.  

“Inevitably, the talk of House Bill 76 comes up when talking about tax fairness, and I’m glad we could have a discussion on it today,” Pashinski said. “The Independent Fiscal Office has shown the funding for education comes up short. A fiscal note from the former Republican Appropriations chairman has shown the funding for education comes up short. The Department of Revenue has shown the funding for education comes up short. I understand the need and the want to reform property taxes, but the elimination or nothing attitude has left us with nothing. I’ve supported multiple pieces of property tax relief legislation, including voting for a bill that passed the House that would have provided $4.9 billion in dedicated property tax relief. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to balance the tax structure so it doesn’t impair any segment of our population’s ability to own and stay in their own home.”

Testimony, photos and video from today’s hearing will be available at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee. The meeting is one in a series being held across the state on the House Democrats’ Plan4PA that includes putting people first, good jobs, quality schools and fair taxes. Visit www.plan4pa.com for additional information about the Plan4PA.