(The Center Square) – Americans for Tax Reform said Wednesday that President Joe Biden’s plan to raise corporate taxes to fund a $2 trillion infrastructure package will translate into higher electricity bills for Pennsylvania residents.
John Kartch, vice president of communications for the group, noted that utility companies pay corporate income taxes, and the rates customers pay remain tied to fluctuations in either direction. When Congress approved the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 – the measure that dropped the rate from 28% to 21% – at least 17 utility companies in Pennsylvania passed $320 million in savings onto customers via a negative credit on their monthly bills.
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Chairwoman Gladys Brown said at the time the credit policy “resulted in an innovative answer by this Commission to effectively flow-through the benefits of the TCJA back to customers.”
An analysis from the Tax Foundation concluded that Pennsylvania’s combined federal and state corporate income tax burden would climb to 35.2% – the second highest in the nation – if Congress agrees to raise the federal rate back to 28%, as Biden suggests.
“No one should be able to complain about that,” Biden said Wednesday during a speech at Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center. “It’s still lower than what that rate was between World War II and 2017. Just doing that one thing will generate $1 trillion in additional revenue over 15 years.”
Biden says his “Build Back Better” Plan will create 18 million jobs over the next four years through a massive public spending campaign akin to the New Deal that will invest in roads, bridges, home construction, clean energy programs and broadband expansion.
He’s also dedicated $174 billion to developing American’s electric vehicle fleet, $16 billion to plug abandoned oil and gas wells and $110 billion to replace lead pipes for 10 million homes and 400,000 schools.
Biden said other key tax changes – including eliminating deductions for offshoring jobs, establishing a 21% global minimum tax and stepping up enforcement for corporations that under report – will generate the other $1 trillion needed to fund his plan through 2035.
He said a 2019 independent analysis concluded that 91 Fortunate 500 companies, including Amazon, exploit loopholes to escape paying a “single, solitary penny in federal income tax.”
“I don’t want to punish them, but that’s just wrong,” he said. “That’s just wrong. A fireman and a teacher paying 22%? Amazon and 90 other major corporations paying zero in federal taxes? I’m going to put an end to that.”
Christen Smith follows Pennsylvania’s General Assembly for The Center Square. She is an award-winning reporter with more than a decade of experience covering state and national policy issues for niche publications and local newsrooms alike.