Letter to Lawmakers: Grave Concerns about Cracker Plant Tax Credit

A diverse group of organizations and Pennsylvanians sent this letter to members of the General Assembly today, raising concerns about the proposed cracker plant tax credit Beaver County.

Dear Honorable Members of the General Assembly,

We write to express our grave concern about the proposed cracker plant tax credit.  While we applaud efforts to attract jobs to our state, we are troubled by the cost of the proposed credit.  It comes at a time when the state is curtailing critical investments in schools, roads, and other public infrastructure, as well as in health care for children and services for people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, and other vulnerable Pennsylvanians. 

Despite important funding restorations by the General Assembly, this year’s state budget still contains very significant cuts.  They represent the sixth consecutive year of reductions to human services, and follow last year’s extremely deep cuts to public schools.  The cumulative impact of these cuts is difficult to overstate.  While we share the administration’s commitment to finding efficiencies and demanding accountability for public dollars, the cuts are now deep enough that they cannot be absorbed by eliminating waste.  Instead, the quality of our children’s schools are suffering, our public infrastructure is being neglected, and ill children, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, and other vulnerable Pennsylvanians are being turned away for services.  

From this vantage point, we are mindful of the opportunity cost of tax expenditures like the proposed cracker plant tax credit.  Whatever their merits, we view them with caution if they drain the state Treasury to the point that we cannot afford the tried-and-true investments that lay the foundation for the state’s long-term economic competitiveness.     

The proposed cracker plant tax credit deserves particular scrutiny because it comes at an unusually high price: up to $66 million dollars a year for the next twenty-five years.  Given that it will constrain the state’s fiscal options for several decades, the legislature should apply the same standards it might use to evaluate the merit of a costly new state program.    

Therefore, we call upon the leaders of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to hold public hearings to review the cracker plant tax credit.  The hearings should weigh the potential benefits of extending the credit against its cost in lost tax revenue, as well as consider issues of accountability and transparency, in order to ensure that the proposal is in the best interest of state taxpayers.

We value the legislature’s ongoing efforts to create jobs and bolster Pennsylvania’s economy, and look forward to working with you on a review process that ensures we make the wisest use of Pennsylvania taxpayer dollars to promote a sustainable economic recovery.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Coalition for Labor Engagement and Accountable Revenue (CLEAR)Harrisburg
Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA)Harrisburg
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Pennsylvania State CouncilHarrisburg
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 668 
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare PennsylvaniaHarrisburg
Eileen Joseph, CareLink Community Support ServicesEddystone
Steve Stroman, Citizen’s for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture)Harrisburg
Susan Gobreski, Education Voters of PennsylvaniaHarrisburg
Peg Dierkers, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic ViolenceHarrisburg
Sandra Strauss, Pennsylvania Council of ChurchesHarrisburg
Stephen Drachler, United Methodist Advocacy in PennsylvaniaHarrisburg
Carol Goertzel, PathWays PAHolmes
Deb Kachel, Pennsylvania School Librarians AssociationLancaster
Irena Mira, Luzerne County Community CollegeNanticoke
Pamela Haines, Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young ChildrenPhiladelphia
William Maroon, Resources for Human DevelopmentPhiladelphia
Kathy Fox, Williamsport Regional Medical CenterWilliamsport
Stephen Baker, GreenLine Paper Company, Inc.York
Dennis Ritter, Lutheran Congregational ServicesAllentown
Mary Dombrowski, Philadelphia chapter, Autism Society of AmericaAllentown
Dominica Lo Bianco, Sisters of St. Francis of PhiladelphiaAston
Barbara Goodman, Philadelphia Federation of TeachersBala Cynwyd
John Reynolds, Children’s Coalition of the Lehigh ValleyBethlehem
Julie Edgar, Lehigh Valley Gas TruthBethlehem
Robin Stelly, Penn ActionBucks County
Marcia Nye, ATC & CAGACamp Hill
Russell Jirik, Family Matters Adult Day CenterClifton Heights
Maria Payan, Peach Bottom Concerned Citizens GroupDelta
Joel Tuzynski, Multicultural Community Resource CenterErie
Joseph Mifsud, Pennsylvania State Education AssociationErie
Al Fink, Better Choices for PAGilbertsville
Leighton Scott, Scott Creative & Tech ServicesGreencastle
Tay Waltenbaugh, Westmoreland Community ActionGreensburg
Winston Cleland, Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and Curriculum DevelopmentHarrisburg
Deborah Marlott, SEIU 1199Hollidaysburg
Kathy Huberland, Art In House ProductionsHudson
Linda Jacobi, Bayard Taylor Memorial Library Adult Literacy ProgramKennett Square
Carol Caruso, NAMI Pennsylvania Montgomery CountyLansdale
Doreen Marcionetti, Chester County ASD Support GroupLincoln University
Dennis Hill, TEAMSTERS Local 77Manheim
Vivian Hollifield, HollifieldWilliams Consulting LLCMorgantown
Tom Hocking, It’s All GEEK to MeMount Gretna
Wanda Guthrie, Murrysville Marcellus Community GroupMurrysville
Kathie Mitchell, Community Advocates of Montgomery CountyNorristown
Cheryl McConnell, Oxford Area Neighborhood Services CenterOxford
Jim McLeod, Oxford Senior CenterOxford
Scott Geryk, Mental Health Assoc. of SE PAPhiladelphia
Judith Cherry, JEVS Human ServicesPhiladelphia
Lauren Pickens, Pathways PAPhiladelphia
Jesse Braxton, ACTION UnitedPhiladelphia
Robert Obrien, Citizens for a Better TomorrowPhiladelphia
Suzann Morris, Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young ChildrenPhiladelphia
Dan Haney, Feltonville Business AssociationPhiladelphia
Natalie Levkovich, Health Federation of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Beth Harkins, Kinder AcademyPhiladelphia
Ramona Peralta, Lutheran Settlement HousePhiladelphia
Patricia Reichner, Mental Health Association of Southeastern PAPhiladelphia
Stanley Shapiro, Neighborhood NetworksPhiladelphia
Ken Heard, Philadelphia National Writers UnionPhiladelphia
Walter Tsou, Philadelphia Physicians for Social ResponsibilityPhiladelphia
Shelly Yanoff, Public Citizens for Children and YouthPhiladelphia
Theodore Reed, Reed GroupPhiladelphia
Dan Haney, SEIU HC PAPhiladelphia
Angela Huc, TYL II Inc.Philadelphia
Jim McPhail, Resources for Human DevelopmentPhiladelphia
Wanda Guthrie, Environmental Justice Committee-Thomas Merton CenterPittsburgh
Kristie Weiland Stagno, Just HarvestPittsburgh
Sherwood Johnson, Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency CenterPittsburgh
Dan Sullivan, Saving CommunitiesPittsburgh
Michael Iannone Jr., UTUPittsburgh
Sandra Suhr, South Butler Education Assoc./South Butler Co. School DistrictSaxonburg
Adrienne Young, Adrienne M. Young, M.D., LLCSewickley
Anna Negoescu, Resources for Human Development-Hope SpringsSlatington
Gilda De FerariAliquippa
Dianne KarehaAllentown
Jamie KlineAllentown
Janet SpenceAllentown
Jo Ellen BowmanApollo
Brian FerraccioApollo
Anita O'ConnorAtglen
David TaylorBellevue
John KatzBernville
Carol SolonBlue Bell
Laura KramerBoston
Denise HammBreinigsville
Alexander MiloneBrookhaven
Dorothea KulakCalifornia
Beth EllisCamp Hill
Jessica Marquez-GatesCamp Hill
Karen WoodingsCamp Hill
Bruce MillerCarlisle
James MarslandChalfont
David SamsChester
William RovnakCheswick
Valerie IerubinoChurchville
J. William InsleeCoatesville
Amber CampmanCollegeville
Margaret KleppingerCollegeville
Erin McCannCollegeville
John HamillConway
David LongCoopersburg
Richard BakerCranberry Township
Lila CornellCranberry Township
Deb LambertDarlington
Amanda TannerDenver
Phillip TannerDenver
Katherine YanickDickson City
Jane CowdenDillsburg
William CowdenDillsburg
Michael GumpertDouglassville
Dr. Richard & Joan ClarkDover
Ruth GarnaceDowningtown
Barbara HessDowningtown
James StewartDowningtown
Arthur McCulloughDrexel Hill
Veronica LitrasEast Stroudsburg
Karen AquinoEast Stroudsburg
Veronica Litras-MeehanEast Stroudsburg
Armen ElliottEaston
Judith GrecoEaston
Beth SeetchEaston
Judith BurnsEddystone
Kenneth KreiderElizabethtown
John SultzbaughElizabethville
Kamil ElElkins Park
Seth ShirkElkins Park
Claude JohnsonElverson
Barbara ElderEphrata
Mary DesmoneErie
Jennifer AgolinoExeter
Stephen HarmanosExeter
Kathy TracyExton
Judith LaValleyGibsonia
Margaret GoodmanGlen Mills
Teri LanciaultGuilford
Kathy BenoskiHanover
Fred ShoemakerHarmony
Lorenzo CanizaresHarrisburg
Wythe KeeverHarrisburg
Joan LaveryHarrisburg
Nathan SieberHarrisburg
Carlin WengerHarrisburg
Mandy CrozierHatboro
Sue MyersHershey
Mariandl NewboldHershey
James SalvaggioHershey
Joseph and Donna PimbleHolland
Mary Kay PetersonHoney Brook
Bruce WillmanHummelstown
Frances DeMillionKennett Square
Krista CaudillKirkwood
Karen WilliamsLake Winola
Chloe HollisLancaster
Mimi ShapiroLancaster
Tom VafiasLancaster
Harold DenenbergLanghorne
Linda BrownLansdale
John HarveyLebanon
Joel SmithLebanon
Mikki WeidmanLebanon
Michael LombardiLevittown
Alain PiolaLevittown
Patricia RossiLevittown
William Stosch IIILevittown
Patricia CarrollMalvern
Connie FishMansfield
Gino FrancavillaMars
Bob TrumpMarysville
Randi LorahMechanicsburg
Robert ShafferMechanicsburg
Peter SheridanMechanicsburg
Heather SnyderMechanicsburg
Jim BaileyMedia
Katee YorkeMedia
Phyllis FingerhoodMedia
Michael GossMifflintown
Jodi SwansonMilford
Gary MarshallMonaca
Nancy MarshallMonaca
Mary Ann BentzMorrisville
Thomas MiscikMurrysville
Jeffrey GumpertMyerstown
Gordon ColvinNew Britain
Mary TramdackNew Castle
Melissa St. CyrNew Cumberland
Vera OlssonNew Freedom
Linda SmallNew Freedom
Jamie MoranNew Park
George SandNewtown
Theresa ReiffNorristown
Cornelius BolgerNorth Coventry, Chester Country
John StraderNorth Wales
George RodenboughOley
Joshua DukeOlyphant
Tony RiceOrwigsburg
Judie MuchOttsville
Roger SmithPalmerton
George BonekemperPennsburg
Amy FosterPetersburg
Maria DucaPhiladelphia
Deb MullinPhiladelphia
Terry WalshPhiladelphia
Francine SteikerPhiladelphia
Nathaniel AllenPhiladelphia
Kelsey BoguePhiladelphia
Jesse BraxtonPhiladelphia
Alexandra BurtPhiladelphia
Diane M. CalkinsPhiladelphia
Audrey CocciaPhiladelphia
Mary K. DohertyPhiladelphia
Russell ElliottPhiladelphia
Jennifer EscorciaPhiladelphia
Cheryl FeldmanPhiladelphia
Allison KelseyPhiladelphia
K LaskerPhiladelphia
Aaron LibsonPhiladelphia
Catherine Maiseyphiladelphia
Colleen McCauleyPhiladelphia
Deborah McMillanPhiladelphia
David MerrillPhiladelphia
Thomas MoorePittsburgh
Allen NatePittsburgh
Saeema SaundersPhiladelphia
Linda SchafferPhiladelphia
S. ShermanPhiladelphia
Alexandra Stepanujphiladelphia
Letty ThallPhiladelphia
Theresa Willer-GrinkewiczPhiladelphia
Dorene PasekoffPhoenixville
Julie CecchiniPittsburgh
Dina CiabattoniPittsburgh
Alicia DallagoPittsburgh
K DanowskiPittsburgh
Reid GoldbergPittsburgh
Emily KolbPittsburgh
James KolbPittsburgh
Jon KolbPittsburgh
Ruth KolbPittsburgh
Steve YarnotPittsburgh
Colleen YoungPittsburgh
Tony RyanPoint Pleasant
Jill Rogersprospect park
Lee Etta ProudfootPulaski
Larry MiccickeReading
Penny HandyRed Lion
Dana KubikRice's Landing
Thom FistnerRidley Park
Elizabeth BaloghRiegelsville
Anne Marie SmithRose Valley
Patrick SullivanRoyersford
Carolyn Braun-EvansRydal
Glenn SmithScranton
Jan GeigerSellersville
Janet MilsteadShrewsbury
William C. WackSouderton
Henry HirschSpring Grove
Terry ShawSpringdale
Nancy ThomasSpringfield
Jessica StackhouseSt. Davids
William HartmanState College
Frances ScaliseState College
Edward ThorntonSwarthmore
Jamie FolweilerTamaqua
Pete KnepperTamaqua
Judy Leary-WagnerTamaqua
Linda GerkensmeyerTannersville
Rose EvansTelford
Erwin BrownTroy
Michale KitchuraUniondale
Neil JesiolowskiUpper Black Eddy
Bruce GascoineValencia
William EssigWarminster
Eileen LindstromWaynesburg
Florence MudieWellsboro
Dona HaltiwangerWest Chester
Antonia KegWest Chester
Christopher KelleherWest Chester
John ReillyWest Chester
Naimah WilliamsWest Chester
Donna HeardWest Middlesex
Lynda GuckertWexford
Tracy BodnarWhitehall
Yvonne ClarkWilkes Barre
Craig KaufmanWilliamsport
Luana ClevelandWilliamsport
Craig KaufmanWilliamsport
Kristina KohrWilliamsport
Wesley G. FinkbeinerWomelsdorf
Felice WienerWynnewood
John McAdarraWyoming
Steve IzzoYork
Roberta BoffoYork
Alex BurgerYork
Leada DietzYork
Thomas GarrettYork
Trudy GoodmanYork
Grace GossYork
Nowell SmithYork
James SmokerYork
Joanne SmokerYork