Tax Shale. Raise Wages.
It is time for lawmakers to raise tax the shale drillers and raise our minimum wage, These two proposals alone will generate more than $500 million in new revenue and savings to fund a 2018-19 state budget. It has been 11 years since our state last raised the minimum wage. PA is the only major natural gas producing state in the nation that does not impose a shale excise tax. The time to act is now.
Raise the Minimum Wage: Raising the minimum wage would immediately boost the income of more than 1 million Pennsylvanians and drive up wages for all working Pennsylvanians. The higher spending that would result from these wage increases would generate 6,000 jobs. In addition:
- The minimum wage in six of our border states — Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia – has increased on average by 26 percent between December 2013 and this year.
- The minimum wage went up in 18 states and in roughly 20 cities and counties around the nation in January 2018.
- 87% of the workers who would benefit are adults (age 20 and older).
- Just under a quarter of the workers who would benefit are parents with children.
- More than half a million PA children live in households that would get a boost.
- Raising the minimum wage would generate at least $60 million in new revenue and up to $200 million in taxpayer savings in the state Medical Assistance Program
Taxing the Drillers: According to the state’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO), 80 percent of a statewide tax would fall on non-Pennsylvanians. A fair shale tax could generate up to $300 million in new revenue a year. Governor Tom Wolf supports a fair shale tax. The state Senate passed a shale tax. It is time for House GOP leaders and support this long overdue, common sense proposal.
C LEAR has also identified more than $500 million in savings and efficiencies in state government operations, including:
- Right-sizing the management-worker ratio in state government ($214 million)
- Reforming state contracting rules ($200 million)
- Ending Medicaid fraud and abuse by providers, and ending charter and cyber school giveaways ($135 million)
Potential Savings: $549 million
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