Rendell Appointee Defends Sales Tax Hike

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

The nominee to be Pennsylvania’s top tax collector defended Gov. Ed Rendell’s call to increase the state sales tax yesterday, despite criticism from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia legislators who said the regressive levy would have a negative impact on lower-income residents of their cities.

York businessman Thomas W. Wolf, named by Mr. Rendell as the new state revenue secretary, told legislators at a hearing that increasing the sales tax by 1 percentage point will enable the state to give some property tax relief to middle-income homeowners a full year sooner than previously expected.

Mr. Rendell has proposed raising the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent in most counties, but from 7 percent to 8 percent in Allegheny and Philadelphia counties. If the Legislature approves the move by June 30, it would raise an additional $1.3 billion in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

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