Coalition Seeks Tax Break for Big Oil in Budget

It appears that Pennsylvania will have its budget passed on time without any tax increases for the second consecutive year. The Governor and lawmakers agreed on a spending framework and are now negotiating specific line items.

As a part of a budget deal, some Democratic and Republican policymakers are advocating for a plan set to award Shell Oil a prolonged tax credit in exchange for the construction of a natural gas cracker plant in Western Pennsylvania. Proponents argue that the Shell Plant will bolster the state economy by creating thousands of jobs. However, in reality, Pennsylvania has a long history with targeted tax credits and little to show for it.
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Happy Hour or Last Call? What’s the Scoop on HB 11

UPDATE: Rep. Mike Turzai announced that liquor store privatization will not be up for a vote this session. There will however, be another effort in Fall 2012.

As seen on the Commonwealth Foundation’s Policy Blog:

Ready to toast to an end of the state-run monopoly on wine and spirits? Nearly seven out of 10 Pennsylvanians would raise their glasses with you. Government-sold booze is a hot discussion across the commonwealth this week, but it’s not time to pour the champagne just yet.

Last Monday, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai introduced an amendment to restore House Bill 11 to its original intent, liquor store privatization. Here’s a look at what’s inside Rep. Turzai’s proposal:
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Unemployment Fund Solvency Plan Now Law

With less than a month remaining until the 2012-13 budget deadline, there are still several unresolved policy issues on the legislative agenda. Such items include pensions, prevailing wage, liquor privatization and property tax independence. While inaction continues to threaten Pennsylvania’s economy, the General Assembly passed and the governor signed both a short and long-term solution dedicated toward making Pennsylvania’s unemployment trust fund solvent once more.
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State Store System a Failure

Letter to the Editor: Lancaster New Era Newspaper

Union President Wendell Young IV wants the public to believe that government-run state liquor stores are working. Young asserts that the government monopoly represents a cash cow for state coffers. He argues that liquor privatization will cease to generate revenues for the treasury.
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