Jim Gerlach, President & CEO of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) issued the following statement praising the passage of the 2022-23 state budget that includes the long-sought reduction of our state Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT), the allowance for like kind exchanges, paying down the debt in the Unemployment Compensation Security Fund, and other important programs and policies that will directly benefit the Berks County business community.
“GRCA members have long advocated for a reduction to Pennsylvania’s prohibitively high CNIT. This gradual reduction from 9.99% to 4.99% by 2031 will send a clear signal that PA is truly ‘Open for Business.’ Thank you to the Berks County legislative leaders who voted for SB 1100 which also included finally aligning the state tax code with federal tax code, allowing for like kind exchanges. This tax change will greatly benefit our small business and agribusiness communities, helping them leverage additional funds to invest in expansion, improvements, and technology upgrades.
We are very pleased to see $42 million of American Rescue Plan funds go to paying down outstanding debt in the Workers’ Compensation Security Fund which will ensure the Unemployment Compensation Tax levied on businesses will not be increased due to COVID related job loss. This $45.2 billion budget will see increases in the Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) on top of an $850 million increase for K-12 school districts with $225 million earmarked for the 100 neediest school districts. The budget also includes the largest investment ever in agriculture, directing significant funding to combatting the spread of disease, such as avian flu, and invasive species, such as the spotted lanternfly.
We applaud our legislative leaders for their fiscal conservancy in this year of historic revenue by holding new spending to just 2.9 percent over the 2021-22 budget. This budget will pay down $2 billion in “structural” debt and increase the Rainy-Day Fund to $5 billion, while preserving $3.6 billion of the state’s surplus for future budgets.”