In this Update:
Restoring Impartiality and Objectivity to Election Administration in Pennsylvania
My latest op-ed with Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill regarding Act 88 of 2022 is now online. This legislation, which we introduced, takes meaningful steps to restore impartiality and objectivity to election administration.
Voting is paramount among our basic rights. Free and fair elections must be conducted in a manner that is above reproach, deserving the full confidence and trust of every registered voter.
Employers Applaud Action to Expand Jobs in PA
Job creators are taking note of the bipartisan action taken to attract new employment opportunities and residents to Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce, business operators and others discussed the changes this week at a gathering in Lancaster.
One of the most significant steps they cited is the phase-down of the job-killing, corporate net income tax (CNIT). Under a provision of the new state budget, the rate will drop to 8.99% in 2023, and then continue to drop until it hits 4.99% in 2031. Once the reduction is fully implemented, Pennsylvania will go from imposing one of the nation’s highest CNIT rates to the eighth lowest in the country.
The consensus is that this will make Pennsylvania highly competitive among neighboring states in the northeast and others across the U.S.
Other changes made to the state’s tax code will be very helpful for mom-and-pop businesses. More than 99% of Pennsylvania businesses are small businesses, and those 1.1 million small businesses employ 2.5 million people, which is 46.3% of all Pennsylvania employees.
Under the new law, Pennsylvania will recognize “like-kind” exchanges for state tax deferral when property is exchanged for similar property. Federal tax law already allows for the tax deferral on federal taxes, providing some incentive for employers to invest in the job-creating assets businesses need to remain competitive, but Pennsylvania had been the only state not to recognize these exchanges for state tax purposes.
State tax law governing expense deductions is also being changed to bring it in line with federal law, eliminating the unequal treatment of Pennsylvania’s small businesses. The increase in limits will make it easier for employers to buy equipment and to invest, which promotes job growth.
Pennsylvanians need employment opportunities if they are to stay and raise families here. It’s exciting to hear job creators applauding the steps we’ve taken to increase the number of good-paying jobs that support healthy, thriving communities.
Grants Available for Very Small Meat and Poultry Processors
The application period for the Very Small Meat and Poultry Processor Reimbursement Grant Program is open and will run through Sept. 26. The assistance is aimed at increasing locally produced meat and poultry.
The funding can be used for the start-up costs associated with meeting federal inspection and certification guidelines for very small meat processors, defined as entities with sales of less than $2.5 million and fewer than 10 employees.
Applicants can submit their application through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Single Application for Assistance online application system at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us.
Game Commission Seeks Help Counting Wild Turkeys
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is again seeking input from the public in surveying wild turkeys this summer. The Pennsylvania Wild Turkey Sighting Survey is open through Aug. 31.
Participation is important for turkey population management. Survey data allow the agency to determine total wild turkey productivity and compare long-term reproductive success within Pennsylvania and across states, as this is a standard methodology used across the country. Data also are used in the turkey population model to track population trends.
Turkey sightings can be reported through the Game Commission’s website. The mobile app is no longer available.
Application Period Open for Rail Freight Assistance Programs
Pennsylvania ranks first in the country in the number of operating railroads, and state grants are available to support them through investment in rail freight infrastructure.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation operates the Rail Transportation Assistance Program and the Rail Freight Assistance Program. Both programs have become very competitive and not all applications will receive funding.
For eligible organizations wishing to apply for funding through either program, applications will be available on the application website until 4 p.m., Sept 2.
Farmers Markets Mean Fresh, Regional Produce
National Farmers Markets Week is a timely reminder that fresh, regional, summertime produce can be found at area farmers markets.
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