Simply stated, Pennsylvania's system of personal and business taxation is outdated. Most of our tax laws were written during a time in which our state had a large and growing industrial manufacturing base. Times have changed, but our tax laws have not. Our school districts are forced to rely on a tax system that is based on local property values. Unfortunately, this system is not based on the person's ability to pay, but where they happen to live. Our state imposes one of the highest corporate net income tax rates in the country, but as a result of a loophole, fewer than 18% of the eligible companies pay that tax.
There are no easy and quick answers. The problems associated with Pennsylvania's tax system are complex and difficult. Nothing short of a comprehensive evaluation of our entire system -- from state taxes down to local wage taxes -- will provide the necessary tools for government to function and real economic development to occur.
Pennsylvania has to modernize its tax system to better reflect a changing economy and population demographic. As governor, Tony will create a select group of business, non-profit, local government and taxpayer leaders and advocates to complete a detailed study and list of recommendations for the legislature to consider in order to create a more equitable, clear and effective state tax system.
After the creation of this study group, Tony will direct the state legislature to convene a special session for the sole purpose of considering the recommendations to comprehensively rewrite the entire state system of taxation. He is willing to begin this task of fundamentally reforming our tax system, because he knows the underlying causes of our state economic and revenue decline will only worsen if we don't act now.