HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is expressing concerns about the governor’s proposed budget for next year, especially when it comes to prioritizing small business.
The chamber’s Director of Government Affairs, Alex Halper says the state has also spent $700 million more than budgeted this year; Governor Tom Wolf’s $36 billion proposal is 6% higher, “Now a lot of that is outside of the state’s control. There are entitlement programs under human services that spending is required by the state, but makes it very important, to as accurately as possible, project how much spending is going to be and craft a budget that takes a very realistic view.”
Halper says the proposal could hurt small businesses in a big way, especially with the governor’s continued efforts to raise the minimum wage, “The governor’s proposal would actually require you to raise your labor costs by upwards of 230% in July. So from that standpoint, there seems to be a disconnect between the policies that are talked about here in Harrisburg that maybe sound good in theory.”
However, Halper says the state chamber is happy to see no proposed tax increases of any kind, “No increase to the personal income tax rate, no increase to the sales tax rate. The governor in the past has proposed applying that sales tax to a whole host of additional goods and services that are currently not taxed…that is currently not present in this current budget proposal.”
You can hear more of Halper’s remarks, as well as comments from the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce on the recent US jobs report on the WKOK Podcast page…These guests were on WKOK’s On The Mark.