National Groups Weigh in on Pennsylvania Tax Hike

The National Taxpayers Union send a recent letter to Pennsylvania lawmakers on proposed tax hikes to balance the PA state budget.  John Stephenson, NTU Director of State Government Affairs, writes:

Rather than raising taxes, the best way to solve Pennsylvania’s budget problems and clear the path to prosperity is to trim government spending and reform taxes. Governor Rendell’s proposed $29.3 billion budget is four percent higher than last year. This recession has forced Pennsylvanians to prioritize their expenses and then cut what they cannot afford. It is only reasonable for their government to do the same in crafting the next budget. Moreover, Pennsylvania has the eleventh-highest tax burden in the nation, which includes some of the worst corporate tax rates in the country. By reducing government spending and reforming taxes, Pennsylvania can address its budget deficit while also laying the groundwork for economic growth. Our members are counting on you to do so, and avoid raising taxes.

Americans for Tax Reform has a blog post noting Gov. Rendell’s decision to drop the sales tax proposal, but that PA House Democrats’ latest proposal includes higher tobacco taxes and a higher natural gas tax than Gov. Rendell proposed.  ATR’s Brandon Peck notes:

The fact is that Pennsylvania’s economy, much like numerous other individual state economies, is inundated with debt; debt that seems to continually compound whenever taxes and revenue projections are raised. Pennsylvania and other state economies have aptly demonstrated that there has indeed been a correlation between higher taxes and higher debt levels. Rescuing Pennsylvania’s overspending problem will not be solved with higher and newer taxes. It is imperative that Gov. Rendell and his Democratic colleagues adhere to this truth as they reach the final stages of devising Pennsylvania’s upcoming budget. ATR will continue to stay in touch with Keystone State lawmakers and urge them to craft a budget that does not include higher taxes on overly-burdened Pennsylvania taxpayers and employers.
Citizens Against Government Waste also has a call to action for Pennsylvania residents.