Libertarian Party calls on Harrisburg to hold line on taxes
Party urges legislators to regain control of spending
Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania
3915 Union Deposit Road #223
Harrisburg, PA 17109
For Immediate Release: July 13, 2009
Harrisburg, PA –
The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPa) calls on Governor Rendell to rescind his proposed tax increases and stand by his earlier position that an increased tax burden hurts Pennsylvania businesses and residents.
Although in 2006, Rendell said the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax "hits Pennsylvania businesses — particularly manufacturers — hard" and a reduction was critical to Pennsylvania’s economic competitiveness, he now wants to cancel the scheduled reduction in the CSFT and increase the tax retroactively.
Ed Rendell says that Pennsylvania’s state budget can’t be balanced without new taxes. Rendell is calling for a 16 percent increase (3.57% from 3.07%) in the state personal income tax. He also wants to increase the tax on tobacco and start taxing natural-gas extraction.
To reach deeper into Pennsylvanian’s pockets, members of the state House have also proposed to allow counties to impose a 1% sales tax on top of the state’s 6% sales tax, although some counties may already do so.
According to the Commonwealth Foundation (www.commonwealth foundation.org), over 80 members of the Senate and House disagree with Rendell’s tax approach and have signed a "Yes We Can" pledge, indicating we can balance the budget, protect public safety and human services, and educate our children without raising taxes.
LPPa Chair Michael Robertson commented, "While some members of the General Assembly see the problems with raising taxes, the budget problem is not insufficient taxation. The primary problem is out of control spending. Until legislators take control of Commonwealth spending we will continue to face budget problems far into the future."
The Commonwealth Foundation has offered a series of reforms/spending cuts that can balance the budget without raising taxes or cutting key services. The reforms include eliminating corporate welfare, reforming Medicaid to give individuals more control over their health care spending, and repealing prevailing wage laws. It appears a significant part of the Commonwealth spending is directly related to federal mandates.
The LPPa believes that to fully address our budget problems, Pennsylvania must also stand up to unauthorized federal mandates that dictate Commonwealth spending. Resolutions HR 95 introduced by representative Sam Rohrer (R-128) and SR 51 introduced by Senator Mike Folmer (R-48) declaring state sovereignty under the tenth amendment of the US Constitution are good first steps, but more must be done to stop federal encroachment on state sovereignty. Seeking federal bailout funds to cover a budget deficit is a step in the wrong direction.
Robertson added, "A state sovereignty resolution must be adopted and additional options to check federal intrusion into state affairs must be seriously considered if we are going to really address the funding of government in Pennsylvania. We must rethink Commonwealth government operations if we are going to improve the quality of life for the people. Politics as usual is no longer good enough."
The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in Pennsylvania and the United States. More than 200,000 people across the country are registered Libertarians, and Libertarians serve in hundreds of elected offices. Please visit www.LP.org or www.LPPA.org for more information.
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