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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: May 6, 2016 04:11 PM
From: Senator Art Haywood and Sen. Vincent J. Hughes, Sen. Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr., Sen. Daylin Leach
To: All Senate members
Subject: Fair Taxation Amendment
In 2015, Pennsylvania was listed among the “Terrible 10” states for unfair taxation in our nation by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy. Under Pennsylvania’s current tax system, poor citizens are burdened with three times the tax rate of wealthy Pennsylvanians. Middle-income Pennsylvanians pay double the tax rate of the wealthy. The math is clear: Pennsylvania has placed the heaviest weight of taxation on everyday working people.

All of the states surrounding Pennsylvania have progressive taxation, in which tax rates increase with higher income. At a time when Pennsylvania is struggling to manage a two billion dollar deficit, we cannot afford a regressive tax system in which the wealthy do not pay their fair share while low and middle-income people are burdened with high taxes.

For this reason, I am introducing legislation that would amend Article VIII, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution to allow for graduated income taxation. The purpose of this constitutional amendment is to allow for income tax rates to increase as income increases.

My legislation would allow Pennsylvania to move away from the practice of unfairly taxing everyday people and ensure wealthy citizens are held accountable for meeting our state’s revenue obligations. It is time for our commonwealth to put its “Terrible 10” title in the past by permitting graduated taxation of income.

I hope you will join me in sponsoring this constitutional amendment.

Introduced as SB1257