Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Disappointed With the State Budget for Lacking Vision to Meet Future Challenges and Balances the Budget on the Backs of Working Families

Jun 30, 2010, 18:42 ET from Pennsylvania AFL-CIO

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO expressed disappointment over a State budget which relies heavily on harmful cuts in services and jobs while preserving special interest tax breaks - no tax on smokeless tobacco products, and cigars, and preserving the tax loopholes which allow big corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. It is fortunate that the budget was passed on time: avoiding disruptions and interruptions in delivery of programs and services, avoiding worker layoffs, and inconveniences for the public. However this is not the budget we had envisioned.  

"We had hoped for a budget that had the vision to address the serious long term deficits that we will be facing in the near future. This budget ignores the problems, avoids the challenges, and delays the inevitable. We have to begin balancing the budget that doesn't rely on cutting jobs, social and human services, education, and environmental protection. Working families pay their taxes so that their communities are safe and their children and parents are protected. It's time for corporations to pay their fair share of taxes," Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Richard Bloomingdale said. "The likes of Wall Street and Corporate America must be made to pay, not the likes of working families of Main Street," Bloomingdale added.  

"We're talking about ending the so-called "Delaware Loophole" which allows 71 percent of corporations avoid paying state taxes robbing the Commonwealth of hundreds of millions in revenue each fiscal year. And, we're talking about eliminating the antiquated sales tax vendor discount, benefiting the Wal-Marts of the world, which will save the Commonwealth $74 million a year. We're also talking about closing Pennsylvania's tobacco loophole, as this is the only state that doesn't tax smokeless tobacco," Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder reiterated.

"Although this budget does include some positive investments in people and infrastructure these will be wiped out if Pennsylvania doesn't receive the Federal Medicaid Assistance Program, (FMAP) funds and the "cuts only" approach to balancing the budget continues to dominate the minds of our elected officials," Bloomingdale said.

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO will be pushing hard for the strongest severance tax on gas extraction and pushing to make sure that the work in Marcellus shale gas extraction is performed by Pennsylvania workers not out of state workers as is the case now. The State Federation will also continue to push for ending the tax breaks to big tobacco companies and closing the tax loopholes that allow corporations to avoid paying taxes to fund essential government services and to protect jobs.

SOURCE Pennsylvania AFL-CIO