Local Government Officials and Advocates Speak Out About the Cost of Corporate Tax Cuts

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Half a PieAdvocates delivered half a pie to every Pennsylvania legislator today to remind them that a decade of large tax cuts for businesses has left schools, health care services, and local communities with a smaller share of the budget pie.

Pennsylvania needs a budget that returns to tried-and-true investments in education and the public infrastructure that promotes long-term economic growth, said speakers at a Capitol press conference today. After a long economic downturn, that is the path to more jobs, stronger communities, and a brighter future for our children. 

Special tax breaks, however, are coming at the expense of these critical investments. Too often, these tax cuts are put in place with very little accountability or obligation for companies to create jobs.  

“We can fund corporate tax cuts or we can fund our children’s schools, but increasingly we can’t do both...

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote today on a plan to replace the automatic spending cuts slated for March 1 – known as "the sequester" – with a balanced package of new revenue and spending reductions. 

View more information about the sequester and the Senate plan here.

The plan would raise new revenue from wealthy households that pay a relatively low tax rate and by closing loopholes on certain corporations. It would also include modest cuts to services that protect low-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities.  

As a coalition of organizations working to preserve critical public investments, we urge the Senate to take this balanced approach, which is the right solution for Pennsylvania's working families, children and seniors. 

"Our economic recovery is still fragile in Pennsylvania," said Better Choices for PA coalition co-chair Joseph Bard.  "We need to reinvest in our schools and communities and rebuild our infrastructure.  Another round of cuts would take us in the wrong direction." 

This Senate plan builds on the bipartisan approach taken in December, in which some of the cost of canceling the sequestration cuts for two months was offset with increased revenue.  

There is agreement from Senators on both sides of the aisle that sequestration is bad policy.  It will hurt the still-struggling economy and undermine our ability to invest in critical priorities like education, food safety, and medical research. According to a White House...

Stephen Drachler, Christie Balka, and Joseph Bard, co-chairs of the Better Choices for Pennsylvania Coalition, issued the following statement on Governor Corbett’s February 5th Budget Address:

"Governor Corbett’s proposed budget takes small steps toward repairing the damage done by years of budget cuts, but it falls short of what is needed to get the state back on track. This budget leaves money on the table and wastes taxpayer resources on costly, poorly-targeted tax breaks, while shortchanging Pennsylvania children, hardworking families, and local communities.

"Even as unmet needs remain, this budget diverts scarce resources to fund costly, poorly-targeted tax breaks with no accountability. These tax breaks threaten the state’s ability long-term to pay for education and essential services that Pennsylvania families rely on.

"The governor and lawmakers have made the claim that the budget does not raise taxes, but this budget continues to shift costs to school districts and local governments, with the inevitable consequence of higher costs for local taxpayers.

"We need a budget that returns to tried-and-true investments in the schools, colleges, and other public infrastructure that form the foundation of Pennsylvania’s long-term economic competitiveness. This is not that budget."

Better Choices for Pennsylvania is a coalition of more than 60 groups statewide that support a responsible and balanced approach to the state budget. Learn more at...