PA Chamber President and CEO Luke Bernstein issued a public statement in response to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s recent budget address, recognizing the governor’s focus on enhancing Pennsylvania’s business climate and urging policymakers to prioritize pro-growth policies like business tax and permitting reform to boost competitiveness and stimulate economic growth.
His full statement is below:
“We appreciate Governor Josh Shapiro’s focus on competitiveness and improving Pennsylvania’s business climate. We must become more competitive, and we have significant work to do to achieve these shared goals. Several recent studies show Pennsylvania among the bottom 10 states for attracting, retaining, or starting a new business. We have the ability to change that, but we need the right policies, investments, and structure in place so companies are encouraged to invest in Pennsylvania.
“As the administration and legislature work together to craft a budget, we urge them to prioritize investments and pro-growth policies that would address key areas where Pennsylvania is falling behind other states – specifically, our tax structure and regulatory processes. For instance, we must end Pennsylvania’s punitive tax on startups by improving our treatment of net operating losses, as Pennsylvania is currently one of only two states in the nation that unfairly punishes small businesses looking to invest and hire as they seek to grow in the Commonwealth. We must also improve our state permitting processes and encourage more people to join the workforce. These steps would have a real and immediate impact toward making Pennsylvania a more competitive state to do business. We appreciate Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman’s comments today highlighting the importance of business tax and permitting reform.
“The reality is, having the reliable revenue to fund any new initiatives will be impossible in the long run if Pennsylvania continues to lose businesses, along with the jobs, economic activity, and tax revenue they generate. This year’s budget and legislative session present a critical opportunity to come together to improve Pennsylvania’s economic competitiveness and we look forward to working with all stakeholders toward this important goal.”