Manufacturer & Business Association Disapproves Governor Wolf’s Budget Address
ERIE – In response to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s budget address, the Manufacturer & Business Association’s Senior Government Relations Representative Jezree Friend issued the following statement:
“Today was the deadline the Pennsylvania Constitution dictates the governor must make his annual budget proposal for the upcoming legislative session. Instead of easing Pennsylvanian’s burden in these uncertain times, the governor converted his budget address into a political wish list targeting small business.
The governor’s call for a $15 an hour minimum wage would slow our recovery and devastate thousands of workers. To note, the National Restaurant Association’s recent survey stressed that 45 percent of Pennsylvania restaurants were likely to close within six months if there is no change. We should fight for workers, not political points.
Governor Wolf’s proposal for yet another tax on Pennsylvania energy production threatens our business competitiveness and role as a global energy leader. Natural gas is the primary feedstock for medical equipment and supplies being used to combat the COVID-19 pandemic including hypodermic needles, respirators and personal protective equipment needed by our frontline workers. His proposal will make Pennsylvania the highest taxed in the industry. As of January 1, the Wolf administration reported collecting $18.5 billion in tax revenue, nearly $500 million or 3 percent above estimates, toward its initial full-year estimate of $36.3 billion. Raising costs on job creators must not continue to be the governor’s knee-jerk reaction to get us out of this pandemic.
Lastly, we share the governor’s concern to reduce our Corporate Net Income Tax currently of 9.99 percent, the least competitive in the country. However, this should not be held hostage to a combined reporting mandate that has proven to negatively impact job creation and increase the burdens of business compliance.
Governor Wolf’s COVID-19 business closures and shutdown orders were among the strictest and most damaging in the country. These proposals to increase the minimum wage by 107 percent, additional taxes on energy and increasing bureaucratic compliance costs while still suffering through a pandemic are self-defeating.”