Letter to the editor: More taxes no answer
According to the editorial “Why a tax increase might be a good thing” (Nov. 24, TribLIVE), perpetual tax increases should be accepted as the natural state of things as the cost of government services always rises. But, this theory is based on two false premises that, unfortunately, pervade across our state .
The first is that the rising cost of government can’t be controlled. This is hardly the case. Two major examples are corporate welfare and pensions. Pennsylvania leads the nation in corporate welfare at $847 million this fiscal year. And, we all know Pittsburgh gives a healthy share of taxpayer dollars to big business. Also, our state and municipalities could save billions by making responsible reforms to broken pension systems that are draining our treasuries.
The second is that tax revenue can only be increased by raising tax rates. This is an overly simplified view. Tax revenues naturally increase as the local economy expands and personal incomes and property values rise. The Pittsburgh city government should focus on growing the city’s economy and people’s incomes rather than taking more in tax dollars.
Your editorial calls for fiscal accountability and acknowledges increasing taxes. Fiscal accountability can and should come far before we succumb to raising people’s taxes.
King of Prussia
The writer is a public policy intern for the Commonwealth Foundation.