Local leaders call on Harrisburg to level tax play

Local leaders calling on Harrisburg to level tax play

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is set to unveil his first state budget proposal in just two weeks. The state is facing a $2 billion deficit.

Some local leaders are speaking out now and calling on legislators to level the playing field between big business and the everyday family within the new budget.

"Not just how we spend, but how we generate revenue as well," said Alan Jennings, executive director, Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, and member of Better Choices for America.

Better Choices for America argues the state needs to rely more on bigger business for that revenue and scale back on the average citizen.

The group introduced its 19-prong campaign for tax fairness on Wednesday morning inside the state Capitol.

"The people who have the greatest ability to pay have found a way not to pay their fair share," Jennings said.

The coalition wants to eliminate existing tax loopholes for large corporations.

"They use this so-called Delaware loophole, claim to be a Delaware company.  Delaware doesn't have a corporate income tax, and they are off the hook," Jennings said.

But some state lawmakers said Pennsylvania is already one of the toughest on corporations, adding that losing them could be even more costly for the commonwealth.

"I believe our focus needs to be on easing the tax burden on Pennsylvania businesses to promote economic growth and create jobs," said Pa. Rep. Craig Staats, a Bucks County Republican.

"If you don't have a business, you don't have job. There will be no one working. It's like a snowball effect," said Pa. Rep. Julie Harhart, a Northampton County Republlican.

Wolf will unveils his budget proposal March 3.

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