PA State Representative 157 Race – Candidate Question #5 and Response

This is the Candidate Question & Response Forum for the Pennsylvania State House 157 candidates.  As previously stated, candidate Warren Kampf declined to participate in the question and response forum.  Candidate Paul Drucker’s response follows the question.  Each Monday for six weeks, a new question and response will be posted.  The candidate forum will end the week before the election.

Question #5:  Small business owners are struggling to keep their doors open in today’s economy. What should government do to help them?

Paul Drucker’s Response:

The best way for government to help all business, small and large, is to make an environment that is friendly to them. One step government can take to help small business owners is to improve local downtowns and develop older communities. 

What’s more, we need to ensure that businesses, particularly start-ups and small businesses, are taxed at a fair and responsible rate. With that in mind, lowering property taxes is not only important for homeowners, but for business owners as well.

As I mentioned earlier, it is critical that we have a well-educated workforce and provide small businesses access to capital in this tight credit market.

And, once again, we cannot separate economic development from our transportation needs. We will not attract 21st century businesses with a 20th century infrastructure.

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15 Comments

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  1. Its like a broken record with Paul – he says one thing and then his record clearly shows another. Here are three reasons why he is NOT a friend of business:
    1/ If Paul wanted business to propser he could have voted to help instead he TWICE voted to stop tax cuts that would have helped small business grow and expand jobs!
    Want to know how government helps business – they get out of their way. They do not put up obstacles like keeping tax uncompetitively high
    2/ He supports tolling on 422 that is very UN-friendly to business and any high level exec knows that!
    3/ His big “achievment” with the Paoli Rail Yard reeks of pay to play. Its difficult for small businesses to see a campaign contribution be turned so quickly into a cardboard check – small business needs a level playing field. I was told by more than a few local business leaders they were greatly disappointed by that deal – it looked bad, smelled bad.

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  2. If by partisan rant you mean taking Paul to task, than I wear that sir as a badge of honor.
    Your line is as funny as Paul calling himself a fiscal conservative.
    I notice that you do not, because you can not, refute my points above. No matter how you try and distract or misdirect – if you keep the conversation to the canidates answer as we have all agreed to do you see I pointed out facts that contradict the words that Paul himself chose to use.

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  3. Sean – You have put yourself out there as Kampf’s representative. You have represented him at Tea Party Meetings. Does Warren Kampf support the Tea Party’s platform to abolish social security and medicare? Do you?

    I did not refute your statements, because they are all false. Any informed person knows that. Just like the woman on here who was so sure the paoli money was a WAM. She got straightened out, didn’t she? Do your homework. You are wrong, Sean. Plain, wrong.

    And you’d better start plumping up your retirement plan. As a good Tea Partier, I’m sure you will refuse to accept any social security checks some day.

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    Sean D Reply:

    I am a Kampf volunteer and proud to be. I do not support abolishing medicare and social security, I do not wear tin foil on my head either!
    Lets call this a teachable moment for “S” in Paoli Woods- here are the facts
    — HB 1531 10/2/09 – Paul Drucker voted “Yes” to a ONE BILLION DOLLAR TAX INCREASE…
    — HB 2279 (6/30/09) and HB 1416 (10/7/09) Paul voted “Yes” to a Billion Dollars in spending increases AND as part of this Voted to stop the tax cuts for small business
    — HB 2289 7/3/10 Paul voted “Yes” to raising debt $600 Million for among other things a luxury Spa!
    — Supports New Tolls on 422 (many publication but for ref: please see the Times Herald 4/9/10)

    I know I know, its tough to argue the facts, you called my facts false, I guess that since I am the one who DID my homework I found what I needed, YOU CAN NOT REFUTE WHICH IS TRUE!
    So S? You are wrong, Plain wrong. I notice you try and sling mud, but lets stay on topic, I did my homework and backed up what I say… You have tried to take me off topic and misdirect people, ANY INFORMED PERSON HAS THE FACTS, Sorry for you S.

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    Hockeypuck1987 Reply:

    Retirement plan? Waiting for the leftiists to come and take it as part of their redistributionist philosophy. Gotta vote em out out out before any more damage is don

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  4. One of the reasons PA continues to lose jobs to other states is because our business taxes and regulatory structures are so out-of-whack with other states — especially southern states. All one needs to do is look at North Carolina or Tennessee to see how they attract employers — and how we repeal them.

    One of the simplest examples of this is the state’s continued imposition of a Capital Stock and Franchise Tax. While this is not a tax that every business pays, PA is just one of a handful of states that still imposes it.

    The CS/F tax was slated for gradual elimination over several years — an elimination that was on schedule until two years ago when the Dem majority in the House (and, yes, some R state senators) decided to stop that elimination in their never-ending need for more cash to spend.

    Paul Drucker voted two years in a row to stop this important tax cut.

    There are other items that make PA uncompetitive, perhaps most prominent among them our workers compensation system. Changing this system would, however, require Mr. Drucker to stand up to the very same unions and interest groups who are currently funding his campaign (and the campaign of the outside groups working on his behalf.)

    As he has not supported legislation to provide even the smallest reforms to the WC system, his commitment to this simple fix is called into question as well.

    Finally, how does Mr. Drucker believe we can provide access to capital for small businesses? The federal stimulus obviously did not do this, as promised. And, perhaps the state’s borrowing power could be brought to bear (overseen by an independent body) but on that front Mr. Drucker instead voted to borrow $600 million and then enable the Governor to spend it on pork barrel projects across the state. Even if those who defend Mr. Drucker say he “didn’t support those things,” perhaps he could have cast a symbolic no vote then.

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    Sarah Reply:

    Pennsylvania is so heavily unionized that the southern states will always attract more businesses. Texas is a right to work state — and unions work alongside non-union workers requiring only separate entrances to construction sites.
    I’m reminded of the movie Norma Rae — she (Sally Field?) worked in a mill and helped bring the union in. It was based on a true story. The REST of the true story is that after the union came in, the mill shut down and moved the jobs elsewhere….so that Americans could continue to buy things at Walmart at great prices….They wanted better jobs — but they ended up with no jobs.
    We talked earlier about the thugs in the unions (though many disclaimed any connection to unions)…and the explosion 30+ years ago when a non-union contractor tried to build the VF COnvention Center.
    We cannot fix the problems in PA until we come to terms with the issues of how and who writes the legislation on pensions….Sen. Dinniman says the teacher’s union needs to step up on a variety of things, but I don’t recall him supporting the bill to prevent strikes….
    It’s all a lot of talk….status quo means no action.

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  5. In his response, Mr. Drucker says “What’s more, we need to ensure that businesses, particularly start-ups and small businesses, are taxed at a fair and responsible rate.” Is this consistent with his vote, earlier this month, to assess a tax of more than 10% of sales ($.39/mcf tax on nat gas at about $3.75/mcf price) on the emerging Marcellus Shale natural gas production? This is probably the biggest small business opportunity in PA in many years and this tax would be the highest in the U.S.

    Again, Mr. Drucker offers neatly packaged sound bites but his votes belie his statements.

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    Kate Reply:

    Mike,

    The severance tax rate proposed in Senate Bill 1155 is NOT the highest in the nation. It is competitive with other energy-producing states . At .39 cents per 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas produced at the well head, this amounts to an effective tax of 7.3%. – lower than Wyoming, New Mexico, and Montana’s effective rates. And all of these states have a booming natural gas industry.

    Also, those against a severance tax never mention that in every other state, the natural gas industry pays property taxes on gas reserves and equipment.

    In PA these property taxes have been prohibited.

    When severance and property taxes are combined, only Oklahoma has a lower effective rate than the proposed 7.3% in PA.

    Claims that a severance tax will hurt working families is just fear-mongering by an industry that wants to get out of paying its fair share of taxes.

    The bill will actually help to create jobs with a tax credit for the natural gas industry . It provide incentives for companies that hire Pennsylvanians..

    It’s already been shown that in other states with a reasonable severance tax, it has not hindered job creation or business growth.

    Finally, what about the very real environmental concerns associated with fracking chemicals and their impact on local communities? The PA Senate bill provides for funding to monitor big oil and gas companies and hold them accountable.

    PA needs the tax revenue, which would amount to an estimated $300 million next year. And we need the jobs this industry will bring.

    In the opinion of many state legislators, Republican and Democrati, the proposed tax is fair and reasonable when compared to every other gas and oil-producing state.

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    Mike in Berwyn Reply:

    Kate:

    The tax percentage depends on the assumed price of natural gas – today, it’s about $3.75. In my world, a $.39 tax is a bit more than 10%.

    In my opinion, there should be a “fair” severance tax on natural gas, used to pay for the costs to the environment and infrastructure the industry creates- that amount might be 3-5%. However, as is their practice, many legislators see this as a “revenue opportunity”, assessing a much higher tax, and using 40% of the tax for the general fund, rather than make painful, tough budget choices.

    As to your statement, “(t)he bill will actually help to create jobs”, two points:

    “A Pennsylvania State University study finds that the severance tax cannot be passed on to consumers and, therefore, drilling activity would decline by more than 30% and result in an estimated $880 million net loss in the present value of tax revenue between now and 2020. Severance tax revenue gains are more than offset by declining state and local income taxes resulting from lower drilling activity under the severance tax. According to the study, the high level of drilling activity in Pennsylvania is a function of relatively lower taxes.” In other words, PA drilling is booming partly because the economics, absent this tax, are compelling and this tax will not kill, but will certainly wound, the “golden goose”.

    As for the tax credit for hiring, let me get this straight – I’m a nat gas producer, the state imposes a high tax on me, creates a bureaucracy to collect the tax, gives me a tax credit for hiring (essentially giving me back my own money) and creates a bureaucracy to count my hiring and account for the tax credits. Hello? Alternatively, how about a lower tax and let me hire the number of workers I need to run my business, absent the layers of Harrisburg central planning and bureaucracy.

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  6. Paul Drucker fought against his own party to shoot down the sales tax proposals and dual reporting requirements that would have crippled businesses in Pennsylvania. In fact, because of him and a few other freshman legislators, Dems did not have enough votes. That is why Paul Drucker was recommended by the Main Line Chamber Advisory Board. And also why the Pennsylvania Chamber did NOT endorse Warren in this race. But of course, Mike in Berwyn, I’m sure you know better than they do. Oh, and Sean, you too.

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    Sean D Reply:

    Oh my “S in Paoli Woods”
    Please allow me again to provide you with facts…

    Warren was the one who received the endorsement of the Main Line Chamber of Commerce, a rarity for a Republican by the way. He also received the endorsement of the Chester County Chamber of Commerce. You can look that up.

    Paul proved he is no friend of business, I laid out the rationale and gave proper attribution. Tolling Route 422 is a killer of an issue. No amount of misdirection can get away from that issue.

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  7. Oh dear misguided Sean: I said the Main Line Chamber Advisory Committee – the body that actually makes the recommendation? The powers that be at the Main Line Chamber, of course, endorsed Warren. And it is not “unusual” for a Republican to get a Chamber endorsement – who told you that??? In fact, his non-endorsement by the PA Chamber is a clear signal that Paul Drucker is a moderate, and Warren Kampf is even too extreme for them! They endorsed Guy in 2008. Wrong, again, Sean.

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  8. As far as 422, the business community WANTS the tolling. The Philadelphia Chamber has a long list of businesses supporting it, as the Chamber does. Everyone knows Warren was warned by the business community to lay off the issue. Doesn’t Warren’s campaign tell you anything? You should really stop speaking for him – it makes you (and Warren) look really bad.

    And, again, even though Warren is lying about the issue, Paul said he would consider all options and clearly stated from the beginning he did not support tolling for local on off users. He is a thoughtful man, Unlike Warren who is using the serious 422 traffic issue as a political weapon.

    Keep going Sean, I can keep making Warren look bad if you’d like. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

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