Podcast: Killing Jobs & Playing Favorites – Meet Pa.’s Tax Code

Did you know Pennsylvania has more than 3,000 taxing authorities? It’s a staggering number that exceeds almost any other state in the nation. Not only does this create confusion and raise costs for job creators, it also enables politicians to manipulate the tax code to benefit special interests.

The result, as we discussed with Travis Brown of Forbes, is entrepreneurs and job-seekers take their talents to other states.

In this episode of Commonwealth Insight, we discuss solutions to Pennsylvania’s job-killing tax code with our guest Jared Walczak, a policy analyst at the Tax Foundation and a Western Pa. native.

Jared says simplification and neutrality are the keys to a tax structure that promotes, rather than stymies, business investment. We talk with Jared about what Pennsylvania can learn from North Carolina, which is enjoying a boom after responsibly reforming its tax code.

What can we change? Pennsylvania’s high tax rates, coupled with carve-outs for special interests, means politicians pick winners and losers. This system is both inefficient and unfair. Jared says there’s a better alternative. “Neutral, across-the-board rate reductions is the best incentive package you could create,” he says, “And it would apply to every business, not just those favored few.”

Here’s the bottom line: Broadening our tax base and reducing rates for everyone will make us more competitive.

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