TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Picking favorites: Creating losers

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

Fifteen-million dollars worth of Keystone Innovation Zone tax credits to 202 tech startups represent Harrisburg's latest attempt to pick economic winners. But all Pennsylvania businesses and taxpayers would fare far better if the commonwealth offered a uniformly lower tax environment.

State-favored status bestowed by the Department of Community and Economic Development gives these startups an unfair competitive edge over rival businesses burdened by the full weight of Pennsylvania's 9.99 percent corporate net income tax. Eliminating all such state tax credits, incentives and subsidies would enable a 2-percentage-point reduction in that tax rate, to 7.99 percent, estimates the Commonwealth Foundation's Nate Benefield.

He says Pennsylvania keeps trying to pick winners — and, we add, creating losers — because it's “press release economics” offering self-promotion opportunities for politicians and bureaucrats that an across-the-board corporate tax cut wouldn't.

Jake Haulk of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy says state government “has become addicted to handing out checks,” a practice that devolves into crony capitalism while creating a Pavlovian mindset among companies, “ruining the free enterprise system.”

This practice must end. It forces taxpayers to act as unwilling venture capitalists and leaves intact Pennsylvania's unfriendly, uncompetitive overall business tax climate. And that's a powerful incentive for companies to set up shop elsewhere.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. Kittanning Laurels & Lances
  2. The Connellsville Redevelopment Authority: Facts & findings
  3. Jamestown revealed: History comes alive
  4. Saturday essay: Garden chances
  5. Regional growth
  6. At the VA: The waiting dead
  7. Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
  8. The Brady affair: Contract law
  9. Yes, the IRS targeted conservatives
  10. Alle-Kiski Tuesday takes
  11. Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances