Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pennsylvania Taxes- Where Do We Stand?

It's silly season once again. It is one in which each candidate for governor is going to be less then forthright when it comes to raising taxes. Here's an analysis.

A Quick Fact Check
     Property taxes- 25th lowest nationally
     State Income Tax- Lowest in nation (3.07%)
     Median Household Income- Ranked 23rd in the nation.
     Corperate Rate is 3rd highest in the nation (9.9%)

According to a WFMZ/AP headline, Job No. 1 for the next PA governor? A huge budget gap-- "But even after Republicans engineered cuts to education and certain health care and social service programs, the state is still facing a massive deficit that budget analysts expect will hit $2 billion next year, if not more."

So How Do We Fix That?
I'm sure no one wants to hear this but there is some wiggle room in raising the state's income tax. Here's why. Pennsylvania is almost dead center when it comes to median household incomes and property taxes. But when it comes to state income tax ours are the lowest in the nation. I'd be more then willing to bet whoever the next governor is this tax will increase. I'm just as certain no one running for office is going to be honest enough to come out and say it before the elections. One has to look at who this state can increase taxes on. I highly doubt it would come on the backs of corporations.

While it may seem like a good idea to impose a 5% tax on fracking I highly doubt the promised $1 billion would materialize as envisioned. It's an old campaign strategy to promote anything by using the "it's for the children" mantra whenever someone wants to raise taxes. This fracking tax is little different in this silly season of campaign promises.

Here's The Bottom Line
Pick one candidate or the other, either one getting elected will have to come up with much needed additional revenue at the state level. Going over the numbers above I'm pretty damn sure where. Raising the state's income tax would not be entirely unfair. What is unfair is neither candidate will come out and say it to the voters.

Every candidate promises solutions without ever giving specific details of how they plan to put a free chicken in everyone's pot. It can't be done. And that's why they call this "the silly season".

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