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TheGerbil

This is not good news for PA business

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Yeah that is crap if you ask me . . . why can't those guys in Harrisburg be innovative and start thinking about government AHEAD of its time instead of constantly being trapped in this 1800's culture (re: townships, boroughs, etc. 190+ governments in one county). We should be one of the first states to have a flat tax or VAT tax, and simplify and make streamline our tax culture. Be the Singapore or Dubai of the United States, an entrepreneurs paradise.

Now that would be something.

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I just hate sitting here watching all this, knowing exactly what's wrong, and being powerless. While the state gov't officials sit there, I dunno, twiddling their thumbs or something. How can they be so dense? Do they not read the papers?

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There is a governors race coming up, although none of us has a chance to win it outright we could be a Perot 92 or Nader 00 factor where we FORCE the major candidates to CONSTANTLY have to deal with "unspeakable" issues like tax reform. Thats a great way to change things and bring it to the hotseat.

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UPDATE!

http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/stor...editorial5.html

Hydrogen wrote in to the biz Times about the article they wrote, they promised continued growth with their Pittsburgh facilities, and lobbied for greater improvement in the business taxes and redtape in Pa. They seem like a group of people very loyal to the Pittsburgh area but with an intimate knowledge of what's wrong with Harrisburg's business strategy.

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There is a governors race coming up, although none of us has a chance to win it outright we could be a Perot 92 or Nader 00 factor where we FORCE the major candidates to CONSTANTLY have to deal with "unspeakable" issues like tax reform.  Thats a great way to change things and bring it to the hotseat.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Here's the thing about the article. They quoted a venture capital firm saying that the pa tax climate kills business, while the president of the firm in question said taxes weren't the reason for their move to Ohio. Hate to be the devil's advocate here but venture capitalists are bankers who rip apart businesses and keep whatever profits after they sell off the pieces. The VC industry has gotten so bad in emerging technologies that there is a growing consensus in the engineering communities that they should be avoided completely by startups. Of course the tax climate is bad for venture capital, and always will be until taxes become zero or negative, because they are profiteers.

OTOH Pennsylvania has a vested interest in clean energy technologies, in fact we are one of the states mentioned in Lester Brown's Eco-Economy (which I read last month) as a leader of alternate energy sources in the US, especially with wind power, which is incidentally seen as an ideal source of energy to be used to generate hydrogen. It is inexcuseable that our government officials are inaccessible even to the corporations crucial to our state's future that we are otherwise trying to encourage. What we need, I truly believe, are accountable and accessible officials who should be forced to hold meetings for the public record like they're paid by taxpayers to do. When the state has a R&D policy, it's not enough that that taxpayer money be given out at some point, it needs to be forthcoming to those who need it to give our state a competitive edge; those companies, whether given funds or not, have to be on the fast track to the negotiating table.

from the article:

"We spoke to the company, but we're not going to negotiate through the press," said Kevin Ortiz, a DCED spokesman.

And what exactly does that mean? This statement appearantly comes after Ohio officials pledged 1.5 million dollars to HydroGen and the company commited to moving their operations there. If by "negotiate" he means waiting for officials in Ohio to say "Just Kidding!" then he might have some semblance of competency. I'm saying fire whoever's in charge of that agency.

I'm not saying that relatively high taxes are necessarily good or bad. This story doesn't point one way or the other. What it does show is that taxes aren't everything. It's all about value for the money and how those taxes are invested back into the economy in a timely and credible manner. We aren't a desolate desert trying to attract these businesses to cultivate the land, these are homegrown businesses that thrive on the rich soil of our state (to keep with the metaphor) and what these officials are failing to do is the simplest thing of all, add water before the thing wilts. If high taxes discourage venture capitalists, all the better! You know? Cutting taxes isn't going to give this company 1.5 million for a prototype project, it will never foster startups and innovation. And when the choices are between VC and grant money, given the company who doesn't like selling its soul, the government grant wins hands down. I can't stress this enough, it's not the taxes, it's not the unions, it's not whatever else any investment banker or walmart ceo says it is.

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One more thing, this is largely besides the point of my above post, but I want to say it.

We as citizens, I believe, are in direct competition with the venture capitalists for those very profits, jobs, and progress made by startups. Taxing corporations, taking the public's share of those profits and investing it back into our economy, that's society's dividends for things that society invested in. Does that sound too much like Socialism? The bankers would surely want us to think that as they reduce competition for their investment capital and negotiate terms that utterly ravage and usurp power over companies and take 90% of the profits, versus the state's 9%. Think about that. Which one is truly in keeping with free markets and entreprenualism? The biggest economic catastrophes of the last 150 years have been caused by primarily by bankers with too much power over the economy and too much personal greed.

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