Mar. 14, 2024

Encouraging Small Business Growth by Avoiding Tax Increases

While discussion and negotiation of Pennsylvania’s 2024-25 budget are ongoing, it seems instinctual to look at the state’s expected revenue and compare it to expenses.

Businesses and families certainly do the same thing.

Though I believe the right path is to keep government spending low, for others, they seek to find ways to increase government revenue. This is how some really dangerous pieces of legislation can be proposed.

Such bad ideas are found in House Bill 1773.

Introduced as a “fair share” proposal, the bill aims to restructure the Commonwealth’s Personal Income Tax (PIT) rate. The proposal is to decrease the income tax rate on wages and in its place, the tax rate on net profits and net gains would be increased.

Phrases like “net profits and gains” allude to large-scale corporations and the perception that multi-billion-dollar companies can handle paying more. But this is very flawed thinking because the PIT is not paid by these larger businesses.

The PIT is, however, paid by the small business community, which are listed as partnerships, S corporations, business trusts and limited liability companies. 

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, just less than 97% of Pennsylvania-owned business, or 1.1 million, are considered small businesses. They employ roughly 46% of the Commonwealth’s workforce.

While decreasing the tax burden paid by consumers is an important pursuit, saddling small businesses with the burden to make up the difference is far from the answer.

Small businesses are likely to respond to their new tax rate by either decreasing employee hours or raising prices, both of which would be disastrous to the individuals who House Bill 1773 purports to help.

If the number of available employment hours decreases, obviously, so will the average take-home pay. Should businesses raise prices, consumers’ buying power will decline, even though they are paying marginally less in wage taxes.

Knowing that small businesses are such an important part of Pennsylvania’s economy, instead, we should pursue ways that allow them to grow. As such, they will need more employees, causing wage increases and expanding economic growth.

There is no argument government has essential, core services. These are subjects like public safety, education, senior services and care for vulnerable populations. Certainly, these are priorities.

But spending more than we can afford harms the employers and residents whose tax dollars fund government operations. Instead, if taxpayers keep more of their money, they are likely to return it to the economy through spending. 

Obviously, I will be opposing House Bill 1773 and will only support legislation that keeps government spending in check and transparent. 

Here are some additional news topics and reminders I would like to share.

Honoring Our Women Veterans License Plate - In recognition of Women's History Month in March, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is reminding drivers that purchasing an “Honoring Our Women Veterans” license plate both recognizes the importance of women who served and supports programs assisting the nearly 64,000 women veterans in Pennsylvania.

Each plate costs $40, with $15 going directly to the Pennsylvania Veterans' Trust Fund (VTF). The VTF regularly issues grants to statewide charitable organizations assisting veterans service organizations and county directors of veterans affairs. The grants are used to aid veterans in need of shelter, essential goods and other services. The plate is available for passenger cars or trucks with a registered gross weight of not more than 14,000 pounds.

To learn more about how to purchase plates honoring women veterans, or other veterans, visit vtf.pa.gov.

Artists Invited to Participate in Art of the State - The State Museum of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation are inviting artists and craftspeople to submit applications to exhibit their work in the annual Art of the State. Open to Pennsylvania residents who are at least 18 years of age, artists will compete in five categories: painting, work on paper, sculpture, craft and photography/digital media. 

More than $5,000 in cash awards will be presented. The exhibit is scheduled to open to the public at The State Museum on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2024, and close on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2025. Entries to Art of the State must be submitted online. Additional information and the link to enter are available at statemuseumpa.org/artofthestate/. The deadline to enter is May 3.

Report Potholes to PennDOT
While it’s always great to welcome the spring thaw, it also brings with it more potholes on our roads and bridges. Extreme fluctuations in temperatures can contribute to more potholes on our roads.

To help combat potholes and prevent them from becoming a danger to vehicles and drivers on the road, you can report potholes to PennDOT. Simply call 1-800-FIX-ROAD or visit customercare.penndot.gov to file a report online. 




Representative Jill Cooper
55th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jordan Frei
724-875-8450
jillCooper.com / Facebook.com/RepJillCooper


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