HARRISBURG, PA – The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, which represents thousands of statewide businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors, today said the half-truths, misleading rhetoric and outright flawed approach to job creation and economic growth espoused by liberal activist groups are a disservice to working Pennsylvanians and job creators, both of which have been hit hard by the recession.
"Despite the fact that the private sector has lost nearly seven million jobs, and continues to struggle, some organizations still seek any available avenue to add to the tax burden of those responsible for creating and retaining jobs," PA Chamber President Floyd Warner said. "They’ll say anything to advance their tax, spend and mandate ideology.
"This level of economic ignorance and inflammatory rhetoric lends nothing to a meaningful dialogue on the significant challenges facing the Commonwealth and what is needed to move Pennsylvania forward."
Warner cited as just one example the current debate over combined reporting.
"Many companies that currently don’t pay the Corporate Net Income tax have lost money or broke even and therefore have no tax liability," he said. "But you won’t read that in the propaganda being spread by some combined reporting supporters."
Warner said it’s also wrong to imply that businesses are getting a free ride if they aren’t subject to specific taxes. Pennsylvania still assesses a burdensome tax on assets, regardless of whether or not a company makes a profit (and which was increased this fiscal year). In addition, sales, property, gross receipts and UC taxes, among others, not to mention regulatory burdens, government mandates and escalating health-care costs, all add to the cost of creating jobs.
"And make no mistake about it," Warner stressed, "many Pennsylvania businesses that would see a tax increase under combined reporting do not have passive investment (Delaware holding) companies.
"Rather than look for taxes that haven’t yet been imposed, a better approach would be to create a climate that enables the Commonwealth to grow jobs."
Warner said the business community is well accustomed to dealing with half-truths and fear mongering in the environmental regulation debate. That this approach to public policy has now spread to the economic arena is troubling to employers, hard-working Pennsylvanians and those looking to return to employment.
"Groups that embrace this approach have no interest in tax fairness and they have no interest in the facts. They want public policy their way and their way only, which includes greater government spending and programs, hamstringing the private sector and taking no meaningful steps to make Pennsylvania a welcome place for business and the jobs they provide."
Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state’s largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of Business.