For Immediate Release
February 8, 2017
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement in regard to Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2017-18 budget address:
“We are encouraged by the administration’s efforts to streamline government programs and generate efficiencies. We agree with the governor that the state’s fiscal challenges necessitate responsible state spending and we appreciate his commitment to looking into new ways to save taxpayer dollars. As budget negotiations get underway, we will continue to urge the administration and lawmakers to enact comprehensive public pension reforms that will rein in the steady growth of the state’s pension obligation – which is our Commonwealth’s No. 1 cost driver.”
“We are concerned, however, that this proposal looks to impose tax increases on Pennsylvania’s employers. During a time of slow economic growth, the more than $1 billion in proposed business tax hikes would stifle job creation and hamper our ability to compete. Coupled with this, is a plan to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour – which would have a disparate effect on small businesses and could lead to substantial job loss. Additionally, the administration’s continued calls to enact another tax on the natural gas industry – especially during a time when impact fee revenues are down – will only risk the loss of further investment and job growth in the industry. We look forward to working with elected officials toward a responsible state spending plan that sets Pennsylvania on a path toward a stronger economic future.”
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.