State Rep. Tom Quigley (R-Montgomery) and the House Republican Policy Committee hosted a public hearing Wednesday on legislation that would reduce Pennsylvania's Personal Income Tax (PIT).
The event on the West Campus of Montgomery County Community College in Pottstown was designed to boost support for the Economic Stimulus Tax Cut Package introduced by House Republicans.
"The budget surplus we are currently experiencing should mean money being returned to the wallets of the hard-working taxpayers who earned it," Rep. Quigley, a member of the House Finance Committee, said in a statment issued after the hearing. "The Economic Stimulus Tax Cut Package works to that end, and keeps tax dollars from finding their way into a pet project."
Among the speakers who testified was the newly-installed president of the TriCounty Chamber of Commerce, which represents businesses in Montgomery, Chester and Berks counties.
"This legislation is exciting for our members because it addresses concerns we have about how to make Pennsylvania more business friendly," said Tim Phelps, president of the TriCounty Chamber of Commerce. "This bill puts dollars back into local economies through business reinvestment and employee buying power."
The GOP package includes, House Bill 2270 cutting the PIT to 2.935 percent from its current rate of 3.07 percent and reducing the gross receipts tax on consumer electric bills by 50 percent over a period of five years.
The House Republican Policy Committee plan would also enact relief for businesses by removing the cap on net operating loss carry-forward and shifting from a 70 percent sales factor to a 100 percent sales factor in computation of the Corporate Net Income Tax, resulting in about $500 million in tax cuts for Pennsylvania citizens, Quigley said.
Andrew King, a certified public accountant with Main Line Financial, testified that taxes can be a powerful tool in convincing businessowners and homeowners to move into Pennsylvania.
"Pennsylvania's tax rate is essentially a flat tax, which does nothing to incent an entrepreneur to locate and stay in a community," King said. "It also does nothing to encourage home ownership by the average working class individual via a tax deduction for real estate taxes or home mortgage interest."
John Callahan, director of government affairs for the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, testified that the state's lack of favorable business climate is well documented.
"States throughout the country compete with one another for economic development," Callahan said. "Tax policy is always a key dynamic, and Pennsylvania has been recognized as uncompetitive for corporate taxation by various publications and entities."
In addition to Quigley, Reps. Adam Harris (R-Mifflin/Juniata/Snyder), Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), Jay Moyer (R-Montgomery) and Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery) attended Wednesday's hearing.
Labels: Pennsylvania Legislature, Taxes