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Liz Stelle, the Director of Policy Analysis at the Commonwealth Foundation, talked with 1210 WPHT’s Dom Giordano about the Pennsylvania’s 2015-16 Fiscal Code and the next budget battle looming on the horizon.

Stelle asserted that Governor Wolf tried to use the Fiscal Code to give more school funding to certain school districts, at the expense of the majority of the other districts.

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“The fiscal code is basically instructions on how to distribute the new spending that they put in the budget this year…The Governor wanted to take new education spending and spend it, primarily, on three different districts, including Philadelphia. But that would be at the detriment of 400 other districts that would actually get less. Instead, the legislature used a bipartisan funding formula that was approved last year and the funding is going to be doled out a little more equally throughout the entire commonwealth.”

She also said the battle over the Commonwealth’s next budget has already begun.

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“There’s only a couple months left to create a whole new entire budget and it’s going to be very interesting. There was bipartisan rejection of tax hikes and I think thats going to continue into this new budget discussion. It will be interesting to see how people react to the Governor’s proposal of an 11 percent personal income tax increase, sales increases and some other tax increases. But I think the tenor of the state right now is that people are still very opposed to any increases in their taxes.”

Stelle accused Wolf of wanting to introduce historic tax increases.

“It’s the biggest tax hike in over 25 years that we’re looking at. That’s just simply unrealistic given where we’re at in the spending, given where we’re at in the growth of personal income. Government is growing faster than people’s paychecks and that’s simply not right.”

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