Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sorting the 'must-haves' from the 'nice-to-haves'

In his 2011/12 budget address Tom Corbett broke his promise of no tax increases. Sure, he didn't raise them at the state level and doesn't plan to implement a drilling tax despite being a fair and incredibly popular idea among the state's residents. Nope, the governor decided to pass the burden of slashing and taxing to local governments. So your local school, county and municipal taxes WILL rise dramatically instead.

While he decimated funding for education and social services, he made sure to include plenty of tax credits and rewards for big business.

Here are a few examples:
·        Resuming the phase-out of the capital stock and franchise tax – which had been put on hold
·        Adopting federal bonus depreciation rules that reduce revenue by $200 million to $400 million
·        An increase in other business tax credits totaling over $200 million

These and no mention of implementing a drilling tax on the multimillion dollar energy companies currently tapping the state's natural gas resources in the Marcellus Shale region, and closing a loophole which allows out of state corporations that do business here to purchase a post office box in Delaware and pretend that is where their profits are headquartered.

In his speech the governor said his budget "sorts the must-haves from the nice-to-haves." I agree with this kind of distinction. What I don't agree with is that education, human services, and protecting our environment are "nice-to-have," but the handouts for colossal corporations qualify as "must-haves."