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Feb. 1st, 2010
Good afternoon, Chairman Levdansky and members of House Finance Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. My name is Megan DeSmedt; I am the director of PennPIRG, the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group. We are a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan consumer advocacy group. Today I am here to testify in support of the legislation before you to close corporate tax loopholes and better meet the needs of the people of PA.
As we head into the budget process for the upcoming year, Pennsylvania is faced with some challenges. The economy continues to suffer, and we are expecting huge shortfalls again this year.
BUT, as people all across Pennsylvania are struggling to make ends meet, large national and international corporations are taking advantage of huge loopholes in our current tax system, and not paying their fair share. This forces the rest of us to shoulder the burden even more.
According to PA Dept of Revenue, 73% of corporations that do business in PA don’t pay any taxes at all. That’s nearly three quarters! And, another 12% pay less than $1,000 a year. It’s not the locally owned and operated businesses—they are contributing to the wellbeing of the commonwealth, by paying their share, and continuing to help generate jobs and get the economy back on track.
The problem is the large national and multinational corporations, who have the resources and ability to set up shop in places like Delaware, where they don’t have to pay taxes. They then use fancy accounting to funnel all their profits out of state, and avoid paying any taxes here in PA. They are enjoying all of the benefits (and the profits) of doing business here in PA, but not actually sharing the costs with the rest of us.
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