Increasing Jobs by Lowering Taxes, Topic of House Republican Policy Committee Hearing
1/9/2008
HARRISBURG – Giving money back to hard-working taxpayers by reducing the Personal Income Tax (PIT) rate was the topic of today’s House Republican Policy Committee hearing, according to Rep. Tom Quigley (R-Montgomery), co-chairman of the hearing and the sponsor of House Bill 1641 and House Bill 1092, both of which would lower the PIT rate.
 
Matthew Brouillette, president and CEO of The Commonwealth Foundation, and Ronald Sniegocki, president of Sniegocki Financial Services, testified.
 
“Pennsylvania is once again ahead on revenue collections for the current fiscal year, which is an indication that we are collecting too much money in taxes,” said Quigley. “In the private sector, if I were overcharged for goods and services, my overpayment would be returned. That is exactly our goal in rolling back the PIT – returning to the people of Pennsylvania the money their government has been overcharging them in taxes.”
 
In 2003, Gov. Ed Rendell raised the PIT from 2.8 percent to 3.07 percent. This resulted in nearly an $800 million tax increase on hard-working Pennsylvanians.
 
Pennsylvania taxpayers have paid an additional $2.7 billion in taxes since the governor’s rate increase. At this current rate, Pennsylvania will collect a record of more than $10 billion in PIT revenue in a single fiscal year. 
 
“We need to start focusing on middle-class taxpayers and small businesses instead of special interest groups,” said Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee. “Reducing the PIT puts money back into the pockets of middle-class families and to small businesses, that are the backbone of our economy.”
 
According to Sniegocki, 98 percent of all businesses in Pennsylvania employ fewer than 100 workers and these small businesses create almost 70 percent of all new jobs in the Commonwealth.
 
“I can speak with conviction when I say that by reducing the PIT rate, you will be returning money to the small business engines of the Pennsylvania economy,” Sniegocki said. “You can be assured the money will be used by this group to help grow their businesses, to buy that piece of equipment needed to attract those new sales or to hire that extra worker it currently cannot afford.”
 
House Bill 1641 would reduce the PIT from the current rate of 3.07 percent to 2.99 percent. Reducing the PIT to 2.99 percent will save the taxpayers approximately $300 million.
 
House Bill 1092 would reduce the PIT from the current rate of 3.07 percent to 2.93 percent in the first year, and to 2.80 percent in the second year. 
 
“We have run our Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) economic modeling program, known as the Pennsylvania State Tax Analysis Modeling Program (PA-STAMP), on Representative Quigley’s proposal and project that his reduction in PIT would allow for the creation of an additional 26,671 jobs in the upcoming fiscal year and would return an additional $644 million of disposable income to the people of Pennsylvania,” said Brouillette. “This reduction in the PIT would not mean less overall revenue to the state, but continued growth in state taxes while leaving more money in the pockets of working Pennsylvanians and job creators.”
 
Reps. Doug Reichley (R-Berks/Lehigh), Gordon Denlinger (R-Lancaster), Glen Grell (R-Cumberland), Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna), Jay Moyer (R-Montgomery), David Millard (R-Columbia), Steve Cappelli (R-Lycoming), Scott Hutchinson (R-Butler/Venango), RoseMarie Swanger (R-Lebanon), Carl Mantz (Berks/Lehigh), Bill Adolph (R-Delaware), Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin), Paul Clymer (R-Bucks), Dick Stevenson (R-Butler/Mercer), Bernie O’Neill (R-Bucks), Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery), Jess Stairs (R-Fayette/Westmoreland), Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin), Sam Rohrer (R-Berks), Fred McIlhattan (R-Clarion/Armstrong), Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), Tim Hennessey (R-Chester), Brian Ellis (R-Butler), Karen Beyer (R-Lehigh/Northampton), Mauree Gingrich (R-Lebanon), Mario Scavello (R-Monroe), George Kenney (R-Philadelphia/Montgomery) and Scott Perry (R-York/Cumberland) were also in attendance.
 
Quigley’s legislation is currently in the House Finance Committee.
 
 
R. Thomas J. Quigley
146th District
Contact: Nicole Wamsley
(717) 783-8063
Member Site: www.RepQuigley.com 
Rep. Mike Turzai
28th District
Contact: Tricia Graham
tgraham@lpahousegop.com 
(717) 260-6296
Pennsylvania House of Representatives