To: Members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

From: Americans for Tax Reform

Re: Support Tax Cuts & Spending Restraint, Avoid Tax Hikes

Dear Representative,

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and our supporters across Pennsylvania, I urge you to support reducing the state’s corporate income tax, pass the Taxpayer Protection Act to contain excessive growth of government, and avoid any legislation that would raise taxes on Pennsylvanians in any way.

This year, legislators have an overdue opportunity to provide relief to Pennsylvania businesses and consumers by reducing the state Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT) rate. Pennsylvania has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the nation, competing for the worst rate only with New Jersey, which currently has a higher rate due to a so-called temporary surcharge.

In an era where workers and businesses are only becoming more flexible and mobile, Pennsylvania’s ultra-high tax rate drives businesses out, limits business creation, and keeps businesses from moving in. This reduces opportunity for workers, and the state’s continuing population woes show the high tax rate is not working.

ATR applauds the House for its overwhelming passage of HB 1960, and commends representatives for proposing other legislation that would cut the state’s punitive corporate tax rate. The Senate should join the House in making corporate tax reform an urgent priority. HB 1960 would not only immediately reduce the corporate tax rate, it would automatically decrease the rate further as long as certain revenue triggers are met.

Legislators can use the revenue trigger policy to schedule further rate reductions into the future, while avoiding any unwelcome revenue surprise. ATR encourages you to pursue more aggressive reductions to corporate and personal income tax rates. Last year, 14 states cut income taxes, and this year more have reduced rates and proposed tax cuts, Pennsylvania cannot afford to fall further behind more taxpayer-friendly competitors.

As you work on tax reform that reduces burdens on Pennsylvania families and businesses, it is of the utmost importance that taxes are not increased elsewhere.

To that end, we urge you to oppose any additional transaction tax on people who offer and use vehicles through peer-to-peer car sharing networks – which would include rental car taxes, or the $2 per day Public Transportation Assistance tax. Doing so would result in peer-to-peer car sharing facing added tax burdens on top of the sales tax car owners have already paid.

Double, or even triple taxing car sharing hurts Pennsylvanians who enjoy the savings and flexibility that these services provide. Peer-to-peer services link people who own cars with those looking to borrow a car, making it easier for those in need of transit and those with personal vehicles to find each other. This can be a huge help for those who cannot afford to own a car, those who cannot justify the cost of buying a car, and those who do not live close to rental car facilities. Car owners benefit by defraying the costs of ownership, including taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs, and sky-high gas prices.

ATR continues to strongly support the Taxpayer Protection Act (TPA) HB 71/ SB 286, a rare opportunity to let Pennsylvanians vote on a constitutional amendment to permanently install barriers against out-of-control government spending and taxation. Pennsylvanians deserve the chance to decide on this issue themselves, and we urge you to give them that chance.

Governor Wolf’s current budget proposal of $43.7 billion is well beyond the estimated $39 billion maximum the budget would be limited to under the Taxpayer Protection Act. The act limits overall spending increases to the rate of inflation, plus population growth. A supermajority vote could override the limit. Revenues that come in above the spending cap would first go into the state’s shallow rainy day fund.

Pennsylvania’s budget could grow at a faster rate in the future, but only if the state was growing its population and economy. Currently, the state’s poor tax and regulatory climate drives people and businesses out, but Democrats want to spend more anyways. Every fiscally responsible legislator should support the Taxpayer Protection Act to place solid guardrails on state government and limit the demand for taxpayer dollars.

ATR commends you for your efforts to reduce taxes on job-creating businesses, and lower cost burdens for consumers. We urge you to advance the Taxpayer Protection Act, and corporate tax reform, while avoiding punitive double taxation on peer-to-peer car sharing.


Grover Norquist


Americans for Tax Reform