Turzai calls for state income tax cut

House Republicans, led by Rep. Mike Turzai want to reduce state revenue by cutting the personal income tax rate to 2.99 percent -- down from the current 3.07 percent, where it's been since Gov. Ed Rendell pushed through an increase that took effect in January 2004.

The income tax is paid by individuals and many small businesses, instead of the state's corporate tax. Mr. Turzai said a better way to stimulate the economy is "to put more money back into the pockets of taxpayers and companies" permanently rather than relying on federal stimulus money, which is only good for this year and next.

Mr. Turzai criticized Gov. Rendell for raising state spending overall by about $8 billion since taking over in 2003, from $21 billion a year to a proposed $29 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Mr. Turzai said spending must be brought under control.