"In order to address the financial crisis we are in, clearly we need to raise revenue," Evans' spokeswoman, Johnna Pro, said yesterday. "We've talked about taxes being part of the mix; practically speaking, the [personal income tax] makes the most sense."
She said even a modest general tax increase would generate a substantial amount of guaranteed funding and that Rendell's limited-tax proposals on natural-gas extraction and tobacco sales would yield much less predictable revenue.
Rendell's proposed new taxes would produce an estimated $200 million. An increase in the 3.07 percent state income tax of 3/10 of a percentage point, for instance, would bring in $1 billion, Pro said.
No specific income-tax proposal is under consideration, she said.
House Majority Leader Rep. Todd Eachus (D., Luzerne) said yesterday that he was willing to look at an income-tax hike as one of the options on the table.
Rendell has maintained that the state could squeak by with spending cuts, federal economic-stimulus money, taking money from the Rainy Day Fund and his proposed limited taxes. He said he would consider an income-tax hike only if all other options failed.
"The governor has said all along that a broad-based tax increase is the option of last resort," Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo said.