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Politics & Government

GOP Cool to Wolf Tax Plan

Governor Tom Wolf's plans to reduce corporate taxes are getting a cool reception from Republican legislative leaders who are waiting for more details.

On Wednesday, Wolf pulled back the curtain on a few of the "nice surprises" for pro-business groups in his budget proposal. He wants to bring the state's much-maligned 9.99 percent corporate net income tax down to 4.99 percent over two years.

Wolf is also calling for something that's been enacted in at least 23 other states called combined reporting -- a policy to stop multi-state corporations from escaping state taxes by transferring their profits elsewhere. Republicans have fought combined reporting proposals in recent years.

GOP legislative leaders have called for lowering the corporate tax burden for years, and House Majority Leader Dave Reed said he was "certainly encouraged by the governor's recognition that you know here's an opportunity to make a more competitive tax climate."

But Republicans caution that Wolf's proposed tax cut could cost $1.25 billion a year - and they sent a message that they reserve the right to blast Wolf's plans when they get the rest of his budget proposal.

"We look forward to receiving and considering an entire package of specifics from the Governor not one idea floated at a time," said GOP Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman.

Wolf delivers his budget address to a joint session of the House and Senate on Tuesday. Legislative leaders expect to get a briefing on the full proposal Monday evening.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa applauded Wolf's announcement.

"What's most important to me is that it's a plan, and that's one of the things that was missing for the past four years," Costa said. "I think that's why we've found ourselves in a place where... we haven't been growing jobs to the same degree that others states around us have been growing jobs."