The Impact of Governor Wolf’s Sales Tax Expansion Proposal
In an effort to increase revenue for the State as part of his proposed budget plan, Governor Tom Wolf has proposed legislation to increase Pennsylvania’s sales tax from 6.0 to 6.6 percent while significantly broadening the scope of applicable purchases. Perhaps most notably included in his new proposal, Governor Wolf plans to impose this new 6.6 sales tax on many professional services, including legal services (other than family and criminal law), accounting services, specialized design services, advertising services, administrative and support services, architectural, engineering and related services, services to buildings and dwellings, and real estate agent and broker services, to name a few.
The PA Bar Association strongly opposes this measure. For many Pennsylvanians, hiring a lawyer is a necessity and not a luxury item. Access to justice is a basic constitutional right that should not be taxed and treated as a commodity. Increasing the cost of effective legal representation by imposing a sales tax would impact persons of limited means who often need a lawyer to:
- obtain workers’ compensation or social security benefits;
- fight a property assessment action by their local government;
- deal with a hostile landlord or tenant;
- have a simple will written; or
- probate the will of a family member.
Investors too will see an increased cost in doing business to the extent that they engage counsel to contract, close, evict, appeal assessments or provide general advice. The proposal’s imposition of taxes on administrative, design, and other real estate related services will further decrease real estate investors’ bottom lines.
Please take a moment to reach out to your state legislators to ask them to vote AGAINST this proposed tax.
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Kimberly J. Kisner, Esq.
Kisner Law Firm, LLC
707 Grant Street, Suite 2646
Pittsburgh, PA 15219