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Pennsylvania's tax burden: Slay Leviathan

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

How can Pennsylvania add jobs and boost its economy• The Tax Foundation says that's elementary -- lift the crushing tax burden on businesses.

The nonpartisan research group's study, billed as a "landmark, apples-to-apples comparison" of state and local taxes, says Pennsylvania's overall tax burden is heaviest among the 50 states on mature businesses, retailers, research-and-development centers and corporate headquarters. Among new businesses, it's the second-highest in the nation.

The consequences for Pennsylvanians are clear from Investor's Business Daily's own analysis: Since the recession's "official" June 2009 end, job growth has averaged 1.14 percent in the five states with the lowest business tax rates but only 0.75 percent in Pennsylvania and the four other states with the highest rates.

Gov. Tom Corbett wants to change that -- by lowering Pennsylvania's 9.99 percent corporate net income tax rate (second-highest in the nation) and by lifting its $2 million cap on net losses carried forward. Pennsylvanians, after all, elected him to do just that.

These new findings send a clear message to legislators in Harrisburg: If Pennsylvania is to thrive, it must slay the Leviathan. It must stop taxing to death one of the commonwealth's greatest resources.

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