Corbett Calls For Reforms Before Tax Increase

HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett says this year we face a harsh budget reality. Revenue shortfalls, combined with nearly $700 million in reduced federal funding to our state, has contributed to a more than $1.5 billion budget gap. Corbett won’t listen to arguments for a tax increase until lawmakers pass meaningful pension reform, moving from an unsustainable defined benefit system to a defined contributions plan. The pension reform is expected to save more than $10 billion. Corbett also wants the legislature to reform the sale of alcohol in the state. The governor said he is willing to work past the June 30th deadline to get a budget approved. Lagging tax collections and several other assumptions have torn a substantial hole in Corbett’s proposed $29.4 billion budget plan. Democrats are pressing Corbett and Republican majority leaders to address it by approving taxes on natural gas drilling and sales of tobacco products, among other things.

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