#PAGov: PA GOP Uses Shitty Math to Show How Tom Wolf Raised Sales Tax by “17 Percent”


The Pennsylvania GOP is attacking Tom Wolf for supporting a 1 percent sales tax increase while he was the Revenue Secretary under Ed Rendell.  Their lie de jour claim goes as this:

As Ed Rendell’s chief tax collector, Tom Wolf tried to raise our sales tax by nearly 17%

and the source they cite, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, reads:

Mr. Rendell has proposed raising the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent in most counties, but from 7 percent to 8 percent in Allegheny and Philadelphia counties. If the Legislature approves the move by June 30, it would raise an additional $1.3 billion in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

 So where does this “17%” tax increase come from?  It comes from the simple “percent change” formula:

6 percent – 7 percent / 6 percent x 100 = 16.666

This is a ludicrous use of skewing the numbers by the PA GOP.

About Sean Kitchen 584 Articles
Assistant Editor of the Raging Chicken Press and living in Harrisburg pursuing journalistic opportunities. You can send tips to SeanKitchen@RagingChickenPress.org and reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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3 Comments on #PAGov: PA GOP Uses Shitty Math to Show How Tom Wolf Raised Sales Tax by “17 Percent”

  1. 1. 1 is 16.667% of six and properly rounded 17% is accurate.
    2. Your equation is wrong. The correct answer is -110.667%
    3. Even if we do it as I think you intended and ignore the order of operations rules, you would still get -16.667%.

    • Thanks,math major…
      as for your answer to #3, all values using a % change are always absolute. 7-6 = 1. Try that.

    • 2) “raise our sales tax by 17%,”
      no they went up by 1%. If the sales tax was to go up by 17% it would be a 23%. The PA GOP is using a formula that measures the percent change in values not the actual numerical difference. I was a science major and used this formula my whole entire college career…

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