The Pennsylvania primary election will take place on May 15, 2018. Registered voters will have the opportunity to choose who will represent their party in the general election. Although there will be many things on the ballot, the governor’s race is receiving the most attention. There are three candidates trying to be the one to take on Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, in November. There are many important issues facing the business community in Pennsylvania right now, and we continue to rank toward the bottom of “business friendly” states. The Manufacturer & Business Association’s Government Affairs Department recently reached out to the Republican Party’s gubernatorial candidates in the May primary for their response to the following question:
Pennsylvania has the second-highest corporate net income tax rate in the country at 9.99 percent. Last year, we recorded 1-percent job growth and ranked 27th by Forbes for Best States of Business. As governor, how will you improve these numbers?
Successful businesses have two things: a business plan and a sound budget. Pennsylvania has neither. We will create “The Map” – a visual depiction of what we intend Pennsylvania to look like in 10 years, including multiple energy sources, manufacturing, infrastructure/transportation; educational /workforce assets; and more. Second, we will create a Council of Business Leaders to provide specific recommendations to enhance business climate and grow jobs. Government doesn’t create jobs; citizens do. This Council will bring their voices to the table on topics including reducing the CNI, The Map design and identification of job-crushing regulations. Third, we will institute a transparent and disciplined budget system based on No Budget; No Pay; no one in the legislature or executive branch will get paid until we have a timely balanced budget. Finally, we will overhaul our regulatory system by instituting a Responsible Officer System mandating personal accountability; eliminating “regulation by gotcha” where fines fund agencies, creating adversarial relations between citizen and agency; and providing a “customer service” approach that delivers economic development in an administratively sound way.
Pennsylvania desperately needs a governor who will put the taxpayer, both individual and employer, first. First, our Commonwealth’s tax code needs a complete overhaul, and that includes slashing the corporate tax rate from 9.99 percent to 3.07 percent. Second, we need to eliminate many of the unnecessarily burdensome regulations, such as many of the DEP regulations, that are stifling economic growth. Third, we must reinvest in the strategic infrastructures (ports and airports, pipelines and locks) that foster investment and job growth. Fourth, we must reimagine vocational education and retraining, and bring dignity back to the trades in Pennsylvania. Finally, we need a governor who will actually market the great benefits our Commonwealth can provide businesses and urge them to relocate to Pennsylvania. Not only has Tom Wolf been an ineffective chief executive, he has been an MIA chief marketer. Under my administration, this will change.
Government does not create jobs, but it can hinder their creation. With abusive regulations and burdensome taxes, Pennsylvania has created a hostile environment that is running businesses out of Pennsylvania and stopping future businesses from opening as they seek a better business climate. Pennsylvania’s tax code is a direct reflection of the special interests that have a grip on Harrisburg, and as governor I will prioritize comprehensive tax reform. Such reforms include immediately lowering the corporate net income tax and eliminating property and inheritance taxes. It is past time that our tax code puts taxpayers and small businesses first. I would remove the massive regulatory burden that our businesses exist under by assessing every governmental imposition for its impact on economic development and remove those barriers by implementing a Red Tape Reduction Act to count, cap and cut the number of regulations by instituting a one-in, two-out regulatory model. As governor, my administration will implement favorable policies to guarantee economic growth and situate Pennsylvania as an economic powerhouse in the Northeast.