January 9, 2020
PennLive Editorial Board
As a longtime proponent and co-sponsor of the Taxpayer Protection Act, I commend the PennLive Editorial Board for its Jan. 8 endorsement of more transparent budgeting and spending limits for state government.
Pennsylvania’s exodus of highly-educated young people is well documented as they seek opportunities in lower-tax states with greater economic freedom and less regulatory burden. The tax and spending decisions we make in the state capitol have a direct impact on our business climate and residents’ paychecks.
I ran for the State Senate in order to cut wasteful government spending and protect our hardworking citizens from tax increases. It’s for this reason I voted against the 2017-18 state budget my first year in office. The proposal had increased spending in excess of the limits set forth in the Taxpayer Protection Act with no clear way to pay for it and ultimately relied upon one-time shifts in funding and massive borrowing.
Not only do we need to control government spending, but I have also proposed restrictions on tax increases through my Senate Bill 121—the Tax Limitation Amendment. It’s a constitutional amendment similar to the Taxpayer Protection Act that would require a two-thirds vote of the General Assembly to raise taxes.
More than 30 other states operate under tax or expenditure limitations, putting Pennsylvania in the minority. Our state’s tax burden is already among the nation’s highest and my legislation would prevent a narrow majority of the legislature from imposing additional burdens on overtaxed Pennsylvanians.
The Taxpayer Protection Act and my Tax Limitation Amendment both compel the legislature to reform government and more effectively manage the tens of billions of taxpayer dollars it taxes and spends each year. Pennsylvanians have to manage their family finances on limited incomes, and the state should operate under similar constraints.