Dennis Yablonsky and Rob Wonderling
Keeping his promise to the citizens of Pennsylvania for the second year in a row, Gov. Tom Corbett has presented a budget that does not raise taxes and keeps spending in line with available revenue.
To help create more family-sustaining jobs in Pennsylvania, the governor’s budget proposes to phase out the capital stock and franchise tax. Continuing the scheduled elimination of this onerous tax on the state’s employers will encourage entrepreneurship and business growth.
In his budget address, the governor recognized that a safe, reliable and modern transportation infrastructure network is another crucial element of the continued economic growth of the commonwealth. We urge the administration and the Legislature to move quickly on this issue given the prospects for a transit crisis in southwestern Pennsylvania this fall and continued deterioration of the highway and bridge network across the commonwealth. Investment in our roads, bridges, transit systems, ports and aviation network is crucial if we are to compete with other regions and countries for jobs and investment.
The governor also seeks to improve our business climate through creation of the Liberty Financing Authority, an initiative to streamline various economic development programs to attract employers and investors to Pennsylvania.
Representing the business leadership of the two largest regions in terms of population and economic strength, we applaud the governor for his efforts to grow jobs and enhance the business climate. Together, our organizations represent more than half of the state’s population and employment, and more than 60 percent of its gross metro product.
Our economies have benefited greatly from the innovation, research and growth of our higher education institutions. These institutions have offered a pathway to prosperity for generations of young Pennsylvanians, promoting a globally competitive work force. As such, we believe investment in our state-owned and state-related postsecondary education institutions is critical for the continued economic growth of the commonwealth.
In recognition of our shared policy agenda, our organizations believe the proposed budget improves the climate for private-sector job creation and fosters a more effective and efficient government for the taxpayers of Pennsylvania.
We look forward to continuing to work with the governor, his administration and members of the General Assembly on these issues and to further improving the competitiveness of the commonwealth around the world.
Dennis Yablonsky is CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. Rob Wonderling is president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.