To the Editor, Gov. Edward G. Rendell’s proposed changes in Pennsylvania’s sales and use tax is a $2.3 billion tax increase on working families and small businesses. It is bad tax policy and could not come at a worse time for consumers as they struggle to climb out of the worst recession in 80 years.
In the governor’s Feb. 9 budget address, he proposed eliminating sales and use tax exemptions for 74 items, including professional services. Taxing professional services violates several principles of good tax policy, including certainty, simplicity and cost of compliance. Hardest hit would be small businesses, which often contract out various services because they cannot afford to hire full-time people to handle certain aspects of their business, such as accounting, human resources, marketing and computer management. There are only three states in the country – Hawaii, New Mexico, and South Dakota – that levy such a tax.
Every year, as part of the state budget process, discussions focus on making changes to Pennsylvania’s tax system. Suggestions for modifying tax rules, whether major – as the governor has outlined – or minor, raise the question of how to best analyze such proposals. To assist lawmakers and others analyze any proposal, members of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) offer “Guiding Principles of Good Tax Policy,” which can be found at www.picpa.org/taxpolicy. PICPA opposes any attempt to expand a sales and use tax that includes professional services or any other proposal that violates these principles.
We urge state lawmakers to review the details of the governor’s plan very carefully and with trepidation. We need businesses to come to Pennsylvania, not leave it. CPAs will continue to provide guidance to legislators as they review proposed tax changes during these challenging times.
-Kevin M. Mitchell, CPA, President, PICPA
To the Editor,
I am writing in response to your recent article on the SGA funding for a women’s center program. I wanted to express my approval of Dr. Matt Bricketto’s actions. I am aware that my opinion may not be the popular one, and that many students (especially the SDS) do not think highly of Dr. Bricketto’s actions. I applaud out of common decency. There is nothing empowering or enriching in the word “pussy.” I agree with his judgment that it is inappropriate, and that it would reflect poorly on the university to allow such programming. I also think it is ludicrous that the SDS has responded with a rally to “fight censorship.” There was no undue censorship involved in this case, just an administrator making a wise decision based on experience in the real world that most WCU students do not have. I say “bravo!” to someone still willing to stick up for public decency, even on campuses.
-Dan Sutter, West Chester University student
To the Editor,
I am writing in response to the decision made by Dr. Bricketto about the Women’s Center. I feel that men do not understand how the word “pussy” can be empowering. To reclaim a word that has long been used negatively and make it our own is full of power! Just look at the Vagina Monologues normally held annually through the Women’s Center- that is a great example of taking that word back. It is ours. I agree with the women’s center on this issue.
-Anonymous, West Chester University student