Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett: GOP Has to Agree to Raise Taxes

Saturday, 08 Dec 2012 01:30 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said Congress will have to raise taxes to resolve its budget impasse, making him yet another top Republican to suggest that the no-higher-taxes pledge may be outdated.

Corbett told Bloomberg TV Friday that he doesn’t think the fiscal cliff issue can be resolved without increasing some taxes. However, he said lawmakers can counteract raising taxes by working on entitlement reform.

If taxes aren’t raised, Corbett said, “every state is going to be affected” through cuts to military contracts and spending for senior citizens, special education and other programs relied on by millions.

Corbett said he’s comfortable with limiting how much people can deduct from their taxes for charitable donations, saying many people will still give generously, tax deductions or not.

Corbett is the latest Republican to shy away from the Americans for Tax Reform pledge that nearly all GOP House members and most Republican Senators have signed, saying they would refuse to raise taxes under any circumstances.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is facing its own tax problems. The state’s public employee pension funds may be getting too small to meet future pensions without enacting additional taxes or cutting back on benefits for retiring state employees, including legislators, teachers, judges and state police.

However, Corbett said his administration is still trying to make up the balance without hiking up taxes, even while the state’s economy is lagging.

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