PA Chamber Decries 'Tax and Mandate' Approach to State Budget

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 6, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry urged lawmakers to take a deliberate approach in developing the state's 2007-08 General Fund budget, particularly with regard to the administration's "tax and mandate" approach to implementing major policy changes.

"In what will no doubt be a difficult budget year, the governor has laid out an ambitious legislative agenda that calls for numerous tax increases to fund new spending proposals," said Floyd Warner, president of the PA Chamber, in response to today's budget address by Gov. Ed Rendell. "Now more than ever, elected officials need to demonstrate fiscal restraint, and offer workable solutions to the Commonwealth's problems that go beyond the administration's 'tax and mandate' mindset."

Warner said along with Rendell's call for increases in a variety of existing taxes, such as the state sales tax, the governor has proposed a host of new taxes, including but not limited to an "electric tax" to fund his alternative energy program, a payroll tax on employers for health-care reform, and a tax on company profitability.

In addition, Warner said while the governor balks at federal mandates, he doesn't seem to recognize the effect of mandates on business.

"The Pennsylvania Chamber is cognizant of the significant revenue shortfalls facing the Commonwealth this budget cycle, as well as the major issues that we must begin to address -- highway and mass transit funding, and rising health-care costs among them," Warner said. "We applaud the governor for taking on these issues. However, we remind elected officials that taxing our way into prosperity won't work, and that Pennsylvania's job creators cannot bear a disproportionate share of the burden, as they are often asked to do by this administration.

"Much is at stake for the Commonwealth, its residents and job creators in this year's budget," Warner stressed. "Major policy changes proposed by the governor warrant careful thought and deliberation. The business community welcomes the opportunity to work with the administration and legislators to develop solutions that will produce positive long-term results for the Commonwealth."

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with thousands of members statewide. More information is available on the PA Chamber's website at

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry logo is available at


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