Skepticism on Pa. business tax-cut plan to create 18,000 jobs, raise millions

    The Corbett administration is full of promises when it comes to a package of tax proposals.

    But some groups in Pennsylvania have their suspicions.

    A promise of 18,000 jobs in the next decade — that’s one big sell for the administration’s plan to lower the tax burden on businesses.

    State Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser wants to bring Pennsylvania’s corporate net income tax rate down by three percentage points so it no longer has the second-highest rate in the country.

    “Our plan is to, in a very reasonable, gradual, incremental way, beginning in 2015, begin lowering the 9.99 rate by 0.1 percent in 2015 and then by 0.2 percent over the following 10 years,” Meuser said.

    The net effect, he said, will be more than $1 billion in new tax revenue by 2030.

    “That comes from personal income growth, that comes from employment, and that comes from sales tax revenues that are derived from those who are now working that weren’t before,” Meuser said.

    The left-leaning Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center says while the commonwealth’s corporate net income tax rate may be high compared with other states, when looking at the amount of taxes corporations actually pay from state to state, Pennsylvania is in the middle of the pack.

    One Democratic lawmaker pilloried the administration for proposing to cut taxes without endorsing the elimination of a corporate tax loophole that the House approved last year.

    “The one glaring omission for me in this proposal is the failure to close the corporate tax loopholes,” said state Rep. Phyllis Mundy of Luzerne County.

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