Corporate giveaways

Thank you for your coverage of the recent House Democratic Policy Committee hearing in Williamsport.

I would like to clarify a statement attributed to me in the March 7 article titled “Democrats say budget is lackluster.”

The actual percentage of companies which avoid paying the Corporate Net Income tax in Pennsylvania is far greater than 16 percent. Various sources put the number at more than 70 percent. And that’s exactly why we need to close corporate tax loopholes and start enacting some real tax fairness measures in our state. Gov. Tom Corbett and his Republican legislative allies have approved more than $1.3 billion in corporate tax cuts, credits and favors in the last two years.

The big-business giveaways are slated to continue in Fiscal Year 2013-14, costing approximately $1.2 billion in lost state revenue.

Further, the state’s nonpartisan Independent Fiscal Office projects that corporate tax revenue will decline by 4.3 percent during the next five years because of the elimination of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax coupled with a lack of growth in revenue from the Corporate Net Income tax. The CSFT cut alone will cost the state treasury $360 million. In total, these corporate giveaways and others will amount to a five-year revenue loss exceeding $5 billion.

During the last two years, Corbett’s budgets have decimated funding for public schools and state universities, among other things. Yet, the administration has no problem giving away hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to multi-state, multi-national corporations with no guarantee that they will even strengthen our economy or lead to the creation of a single job.

This is simply a corporate giveaway funded on the backs of hardworking Pennsylvanians who will have to bear massive tax increases at the local level because of the governor’s budget.

State Rep. Mike Hanna


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