PA Chamber: Raising Taxes on Individuals, Businesses Wrong


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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

PA Chamber: Raising taxes on individuals, businesses wrong thing to do

HARRISBURG, PA – The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry rejected Gov. Ed Rendell’s call to "temporarily" raise the Personal Income Tax from 3.07 to 3.57 percent, saying it would harm families and small business at the worst possible time.

"Raising taxes is the wrong thing to do during a recession," stressed Gene Barr, PA Chamber vice president of government and public affairs. "Nobody likes to talk about budget cuts, but just as families and businesses have had to make sacrifices in their budgets, so too must government."

Barr said reducing spending must be a priority as the Commonwealth’s fiscal challenges are certain to extend beyond the 2009-10 fiscal year.

"Most economists agree that economic recovery will be slow," he said. "A return to robust revenue projections is not likely in the near future. Implementing a supposedly temporary three-year tax increase to take care of anticipated shortfalls takes emphasis away from where it needs to be – creating a government that lives within its means."

Barr also cautioned against other tax increases being proposed by the Rendell administration and some state lawmakers, saying they will hinder economic recovery.

"Particularly now, Pennsylvania must take steps to spur business growth and job creation," Barr said. "Raising taxes is not the answer. Fiscal restraint and across-the-board sacrifices now will ultimately help better position the Commonwealth coming out of the recession and into the future."