NFIB Reaction to Governor’s Budget Address

NFIB Budget Statement: More corporate welfare, more spending, more mandates leave small business more depressed about state’s direction

Gov. Wolf’s economic policies are like ‘a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.’

HARRISBURG, PA. (Feb. 9, 2016) — On behalf of the small-business members of the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Federation of Independent business (NFIB), Executive State Director Kevin Shivers issued the following response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2016–17 state budget proposal:

"Gov. Wolf today challenged state lawmakers to pass an honest budget. But first, that requires an honest conversation about our state government’s spending priorities.

"A couple of weeks ago, Governor Wolf announced nearly $150,000 in state grants and other taxpayer assistance to a company that was looking to create 35 jobs in Pennsylvania. A few lines further down the news release we learned the company receiving the state’s largess generated $5 billion in sales last year. This begs the question: why does a company that generated $5 billion in sales need any taxpayer assistance?

"Each year, Pennsylvania wastes hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate welfare on a select few companies. Yet today, the governor is proposing $3.6 billion in tax increases on working families and small-business owners, which in part will be used to fund these types of selective corporate welfare programs.

"While the governor is proposing $200 million in new or reallocated economic development programs, he also is proposing $580 million in retroactive personal income tax increases. Such an increase would steal-away working capital from small firms and force small employers to spend hundreds of dollars on costly administrative changes to their payroll systems. The governor also is proposing tens of millions of dollars in taxes on various business insurances and technology services among others.

"The governor also is proposing to raise the minimum wage to $10.15 an hour. The Independent Fiscal Office reported an increase to $10.10/hr would result in over 31,000 jobs lost or not created.

"The governor’s conflicting economic policy priorities are as Winston Churchill once said, like, ‘a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.’

"Meaningful solutions exist to reduce an already bloated state budget without any need to raise taxes. Eliminating corporate welfare, government employee pension reform or liquor privatization all are a good start. If the governor is looking for honest conversation, NFIB members honestly think he should start there."
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NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists sends their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information is available online at