Wolf’s unexpected veto
On Nov. 4, Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed House Bill 245. The purpose of the bill was to ensure that Pennsylvania taxpayers are not double-taxed by local jurisdictions that levy a local earned income tax. The language in HB 245 provided greater uniformity and clarity in the collection of local income taxes.
Sponsored by Rep. George Dunbar (R-Penn Township), HB 245 was crafted with input from CPA tax practitioners, including members of the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs. The bill provides consistency to the local earned income tax crediting provisions for all taxpayers — an important protection from double taxation. Other protection provisions include limited oversight of the local tax system by the Department of Community and Economic Development, a prohibition against charging taxpayers with no income a fee when they do not file a return, and clarification of the withholding tax rates for employees on a temporary assignment.
According to Dunbar, the veto justification the governor offered “demonstrates a clear lack of understanding” about the type of oversight and clarifications the legislation offered.
While CPAs are disappointed by Wolf’s unexpected veto, we will work to have this pro-taxpayer bill reintroduced in the new session.
Lisa A. Myers
The writer, a CPA, is president of the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs (picpa.org).