Thursday, 27 April 2006

House Democrats roll out tax cut plan

by Damon Boughamer
Public Radio Capitol News, serving Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Penna. (PRCN, 27 April 2006) – State House Democrats have set their corner of the stage for budget talks by rolling out a business tax cut plan.

House Democrats would slightly accelerate the phase-out of the capital stock and franchise tax; increase the research and development tax credit limit; and phase in greater emphasis on sales in reporting corporate income.

They would also lift the cap on net operating losses, often carried forward by high-tech startups, to $3 million. While Representative David Levdansky – the caucus’ numbers man – said that might mean the most for businesses, it was the smallest of the four cuts Democrats were pushing, confessed leaders Mike Veon and Bill DeWeese.

A reporter asked whether the caucus considered taking the cap to $4 million, $5 million or $6 million. Veon's one-word reply: "No." DeWeese followed up, saying that the subject of net operating losses "has been under discussion with the administration, and this is realistic."

The press conference came just a few days before the election break, giving lawmakers and Governor Rendell something to mull over before negotiations begin in earnest in late May.