Democratic gubernatorial candidate would tax sale of stocks, bonds
HARRISBURG — A Democratic candidate for governor on Tuesday proposed a temporary tax on the sale of stocks and bonds to generate money to reduce Pennsylvania's $49 billion liability for state and school retirees' pension funds.
Max Myers, a Mechanicsburg minister, called for a Financial Transaction Tax on financial instruments. Dozens of countries have such a tax, Myers said.
Such a tax would provide stability for pension funds so retirees on fixed incomes could get regular cost-of-living increases, he said. Savings that school districts realize through reduced pension payments could be used to cut property taxes, Myers claimed.
“When you buy a car, you pay a sales tax of 6 to 8 percent, depending on where you live in Pennsylvania. That's $1,200 to $1,600 for a $20,000 car. But when wealthy people and stock market speculators buy a company's stock or bonds, they pay no sales tax on that purchase,” Myers said.
The actual rate of the proposed tax would depend how quickly the Legislature wants to pay off pension liabilities, he said.
Asked how he thinks he could, if elected, get lawmakers to approve a plan in what is a Republican-controlled General Assembly, Myers said it's “a good question,” adding that seniors and others would demand it as the public increasingly becomes aware of the state's pension crisis.
Higher costs on transactions paid by ordinary Pennsylvanians saving for retirement would be a fraction of the cost of selling stocks or bonds, he said.
Brad Bumsted is Trib Total Media's state Capitol writer. Reach him at 717-787-1405 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- UPMC researcher who died of cyanide poisoning committed suicide
- Penguins finally break through, defeat Devils at Prudential Center
- Sting highlights demand for Pappy Van Winkle bourbon
- HOF finalist Bettis ‘behind everything’ in 2005 Super Bowl run
- Penguins notebook: Bennett a healthy scratch
- Rooney says Pittsburgh is ‘good place’ for next northern Super Bowl
- Pa. Turnpike claims software fraud, wants $45M
- Pirates sign 2 to minor league deals
- Dungy, Greene represent more Steelers ties in hall of fame voting
- Homework: Pittsburgh Home Show to feature celebs, wine and pets
- McCord to plead guilty to federal charges from campaign fundraising