Pennsylvania is the 5th worst state to start a business, according to a new study by Wallethub. Only Connecticut, Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Rhode Island fare worse. Then, to pile on, the analysis shows that if an entrepreneur is able to get their business up and running, Pennsylvania's business environment is the 47th worst in the nation.
While these rankings are tragic to anyone who cares about increasing the availability of well-paying jobs for our family, friends, and neighbors, they should not be surprising.
Enacting TPA will empower businesses to grow by stemming the need for tax hikes and providing an opportunity for job-boosting tax cuts.
Pennsylvania’s corporate income tax is third highest in the nation at 9.99%. This astronomical fee, just for having a successful business, is a primary reason that entrepreneurs look to other states. Along with having to pay such a high corporate tax, businesses have to deal with a mismatch between workers' skills and job openings, high regulatory costs, and additional suffocating taxes on individuals.
All of these combined factors have created an environment of consistent economic disappointment. From 2001 to 2018, Pennsylvania ranked 45th in job growth, 45th in personal income growth, and the 44th in population growth across the nation.
So, what do we do to escape the pattern?
Fundamentally, all of the factors inhibiting business, job, and wage growth in our state are downstream of government spending.
As the state government spends more money, it must eventually increase taxes. This pattern is repeated until the state has among the worst business environments in the country—the point we are at today. Sadly, this negative effect isn’t relegated to business owners. It results in a stifled economy that is also unfriendly to new jobs and higher wages.
Clearly, there is a compelling need for tax reform and spending restraint.
Improving Pennsylvania’s business climate will be a long, slow march. However, lawmakers took a momentous first step by advancing the Taxpayer Protection Act (TPA). The TPA would curb the rate of state spending to the average combined rate of inflation and population growth over a three-year period. In effect, the TPA would limit government spending so it grows with the economy while not increasing the burden on taxpayers.
Enacting TPA will empower businesses and entrepreneurs to grow by stemming the need for state government to hike taxes and providing an opportunity for job-boosting tax cuts.
While Pennsylvania may be lagging today, bringing fiscal responsibility to the state government is crucial to energize the economy and make Pennsylvania a destination state in the future.
Through the TPA and state tax reform, Pennsylvania can start taking care of business.