Monday, March 14, 2011

If you wannabe like Texas, you gotta (en)act like Taxes

Call me a proud Pennsylvanian, but I've never been a huge fan of New Jersey, even with such esteemed citizens as Boardwalk Empire real life criminal kingpin Nucky Johnson or Snookie of Jersey Shore fame... my personal favorite: current governor célèbre, Chris Christie.

During the campaign and while planning his budget, Gov. Corbett first tried to emulate the Garden State, but when he did his research it turns out Gov. Christie's budget experiment has largely failed to produce jobs, lower taxes or keep its citizens safe. So now the Commonwealth's governor has focused his 'sights' on another state, a rather dramatic shift to...Texas.


Despite being the home of great Americans: Ken Lay and the deceptive energy giant Enron, Anna Nicole Smith and her inflated personality, and criminal outlaws Bonnie and Clyde, Texas does have a few things worth embracing.

Texas has a Natural Gas Production tax... you know comparable to what a majority of Pennsylvanians support on Marcellus Shale, but Gov. Corbett and his Republican majorities in the state House and Senate refuse to endorse.

Along with its extraction tax, there is a local property tax on the owner of a property’s mineral rights, which means if a property has oil, gas, or another mineral under the ground, those commodities are assessed for property tax purposes. Not so in Pennsylvania.

There's more: unlike the Keystone State, Texas levies a tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco. Maybe they're onto something since cigar smoking multiplies the chances of dying from a range of cancers as well as leading to other health problems.

Hey Governor, how about this: if you really want to realign your priorities and help the working people with your proposed budget, why don’t you lower our personal income tax? Texas doesn't collect a personal income tax. Sure you may not be able to cut taxes to your corporate friends as easily, but Pennsylvania's working families sure would appreciate the boost.

And in case the examples so far aren't enough to have you packing your bags for the Lone Star State, Texas also has combined reporting which closes the "Delaware loophole." So all those big businesses that escape paying their fair share in Pennsylvania, do pay what they ought to in Texas.

Texas isn’t perfect, they have a huge budget deficit too, but at least their leaders had the sense to tax the things that people believe ought to be taxed (i.e.-Big Gas, Big Oil, Big Tobacco).

If you wannabe like Texas, you gotta (en)act like Taxes.