Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Fwd: Help Stop a Tax Increase in Pennsylvania!

From: Tom Schatz, President
The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste - Action Alert

We urgently need your help today to stop a tax increase in
Pennsylvania. Please tell Governor Ed Rendell and your state
senator and representative to cut wasteful and unnecessary spending
FIRST before enacting any new taxes.
In order to eliminate a projected shortfall of at least $500 million
in the General Fund, Governor Rendell has proposed a $29 billion
budget for 2010-11 that increases business taxes, imposes new taxes on
natural gas and tobacco products, and expands the sales tax to include
many goods and services currently exempt.

With Pennsylvania, like the rest of the country, still facing one of
the toughest economies in decades, your state politicians should be
working to relieve the financial burden on cash-strapped families and
pursuing policies that encourage, rather than discourage, economic
activity and investment!

Pennsylvania already has the highest Corporate Net Income Tax rate in
the world, at 41.5 percent (when both federal and state taxes are
counted). As a result, the state ranks 45th in the nation in job
growth since 1990. The governor's proposal for combined
reporting of taxable income by corporations and their subsidiaries,
regardless of whether they have operations in Pennsylvania, will only
further burden businesses, discouraging local investment and driving
employers and jobs to other states.

One area of growth for the state economy has been the natural gas
industry, which had created an estimated 29,000 jobs by 2008 and is
projected to generate another 98,000 jobs in 2010. However, the
governor's proposed severance tax on natural gas companies
--which already pay Pennsylvania's Corporate Net Income Tax,
Capital Stock and Franchise Tax, leasing fees, and royalty payments --
would discourage further investment in this boom industry, reducing
in-state drilling activity by at least 30 percent, according to one

While Governor Rendell's budget proposes reducing the Sales and
Use Tax rate from 6 to 4 percent, it would expand the tax to cover a
whole host of new goods and services, including advertising, truck
transportation, and business services, with the net effect that
Pennsylvanians would pay an estimated $531 million more in sales taxes
next fiscal year.

What's more, the governor's proposed taxes on smokeless
tobacco and cigars will not only hurt Pennsylvania's small
tobacco farmers, another growth industry, these taxes are also
unlikely to hit projected revenue targets. Of the 57 excise tax
increases that states implemented between 2003 and 2007, only 16 met
or exceeded revenue targets. As just one example, when New
Jersey increased its cigarette excise tax in 2006, instead of gaining
a projected $30 million in revenue, the state lost more than $22
million, as smokers moved to purchasecigarettes across state
lines, or through untaxed or lower-tax venues, such as Native American
territories and the Internet.

In addition, tobacco taxes are regressive, disproportionately
impacting the poor and those living on fixed incomes. With many
Pennsylvanians struggling to make ends meet, no taxpayer --
particularly not those most disadvantaged -- should be forced to hand
over more of his or her hard-earned money to the government!

Governor Rendell has proposed massive spending increases in each of his
budgets, usually requiring new or higher taxes, while state lawmakers
have consistently splurged in "good" years, making them
unprepared for economic downturns.

Citizens Against Government Waste's and The Commonwealth
Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives' 2006 Pennsylvania
Piglet Book identified $8 billion in potential savings over two years
from the elimination of inefficient, duplicative, and extravagant
spending -- more than enough to balance the budget. The
Pennsylvania Senate's newly approved bipartisan spending cuts
commission should adopt the Piglet Book's recommendations, and
Governor Rendell and your state legislators should follow the example
of households across the country in these tough economic times by
eliminating such wasteful and non-essential spending.

Tell Governor Rendell and your state senator and representative today
to forego raising any taxes and instead cut spending!
Thomas A. Schatz
President, The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) is the
lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), the nation's

The CAGW is largest taxpayer watchdog organization with more than one million
members and supporters nationwide. CCAGW is a 501(c)(4)
nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that lobbies for legislation to
eliminate waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.
Contributions to CCAGW are not tax-deductible for federal income tax
purposes. For more information about CCAGW, visit
Make a contribution today to help CCAGW wage and win this battle
against higher taxes

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