Gov. Wolf takes his message to a Facebook Town Hall as aide reads about a dozen questions

Gov. Tom Wolf made his second official appearance on social media Tuesday at what was billed as a Facebook Town Hall but looked more like him being interviewed by an aide.

Hundreds of written questions expressing viewpoints about tax reform and other issues were posted on Facebook before the event, but they were distilled into about a dozen questions that Wolf answered while sitting at a table with deputy press secretary Megan Healey, a former local TV journalist.

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In contrast, last month's Twitter Town Hall was faster-paced and allowed residents and interest groups to interact with him directly while tweeted questions scrolled on the screen.

Wolf's spokesman, Jeff Sheridan, said the two formats require different approaches but are equally useful in getting out his boss's message.

"We'll continue to do both," Sheridan said after the roughly 20-minute program.

Among other things, the governor defended his proposal to increase the state sales tax from 6 percent to 6.6 percent and extend it to many transactions that are now exempt.

The plan would generate more than $3 billion a year to finance much of his plan to slash school property taxes and provide additional aid to prekindergarten programs and public schools. He also has proposed a new tax on natural gas drilling and a reduction in the corporate net income tax.

In a statement, the state Republican Party noted that Wolf is holding social media events while boosting a proposal that would make computer purchases more expensive.

If the tax were increased, "many Pennsylvanians won't be able to afford to participate in one of his social media town halls next year," said GOP spokeswoman Megan Sweeney.

Wolf said he hopes to build bipartisan support for a budget agreement in the GOP-controlled Legislature. The current state budget expires June 30.

"Legislators, Republican and Democrat, heard the same thing I did from the voters of Pennsylvania. They want property tax relief. My budget has that in a big way," he said.