Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania - For Immediate Release - July 20, 2007Harrisburg - Pennsylvania legislators have approved a budget that will hold the line on taxes but pushes the general budget to $59.1 billion and the general fund to $27.3 billion.
For more information contact: Doug Leard (Media Relations) or
Michael Robertson (Chair) at 1-800-R-RIGHTS / firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite a $650 million surplus, Governor Rendell pushed hard for a wide array of new and increased taxes including an "energy" tax and an increased sales tax. The legislature held firm to the desires of Pennsylvanians and the budget will include no tax increases.
However, the legislature was more accommodating to increased spending. According to the Commonwealth Foundation, spending will increase 4.5% versus an inflation rate of 3.15%. Spending includes an additional $750 million in transportation spending primarily to bail out the already bloated mass transit systems in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. $800 million will go towards funding of a convention center in Philadelphia while over $200 million will be dedicated to help fund a new hockey arena in Pittsburgh.
Michael Robertson, Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPa) Chair, observed that, "While the budget does not contain a direct tax increase, because of shuffled appropriations there are hidden tax increases associated with the additional spending. As with the transportation funding bill, which reduces the already low share of liquid fuels funds to municipalities, local governments will have to rely on other sources of revenue to maintain current capabilities such as road maintenance. This will likely result in increased local property taxes to cover the increased state expenditures in other areas."
Robertson continued, "Robbing Peter to pay Paul is no way to run a government. Unless the legislature can reduce spending, the climate for free enterprise in Pennsylvania will continue to deteriorate, and our liberty will continue to be eroded."
Doug Leard, LPPa Media Chair, observed that, "Even after the overwhelming rejection of the May ballot referendum to have a revenue-neutral tax shift, they propose more spending. Taxpayers want smaller state government. The legislature and the governor continue to ignore that fact."
"Total squander for 2007-2008 will likely top $60,000,000,000 in taxpayer's earnings that would otherwise be used for productive purposes. Considering the all the ethical problems in the legislature, they shouldn't be trusted with a dime of other people's money." said Libertarian Candidate James Babb. "Last year's surplus should be returned at once to the people that earned it."
The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in both Pennsylvania and the United States. Nationwide there are over 200,000 registered Libertarians with organizations in all 50 states. Libertarians serve in hundreds of elected offices throughout the nation. Please visit www.LP.org or www.LPPA.org for more information.
Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, 3915 Union Deposit Road #223, Harrisburg, PA 17109 www.lppa.org, 1-800-R-RIGHTS, email@example.com