May 13, 2016 |
LAST WEEK in Philadelphia, we heard about a gun sale gone horribly wrong. Two men met on armslist.com, a website that connects gun sellers and buyers, and arranged to meet in person. Armslist.com allows potential buyers to search for private sellers who are not required to conduct background checks on their buyers. Federal law regulates only sales by federally licensed dealers, not private sellers. Some states regulate private sales, and in Pennsylvania, the private sale of handguns requires a background check.
February 16, 2016
ISSUE | INVESTING Nest egg protection As difficult as it is for families to ensure a secure future in these tough times, the last thing you should have to worry about is whether your financial adviser is looking to increase his or her profits at your expense. A loophole in federal law allows financial advisers to do just that, and some have recommended investments carrying higher fees, riskier features, and lower returns to further their gains. This loophole has cost Americans at least $17 billion per year, as much as 25 pertcent of retirement income, or five years' worth of savings.
January 27, 2016
By Alan D. Viard Recent media coverage has prompted impassioned calls for Congress to close the "loopholes" that supposedly explain why the 400 richest taxpayers paid an average federal individual income tax rate of 16.7 percent in 2012. Unfortunately, these calls are based on outdated numbers and an incomplete picture of the tax system. A few weeks ago, the Internal Revenue Service released new data showing that the average federal individual income tax rate for the richest 400 jumped more than a third, to 22.9 percent, in 2013.
June 27, 2015
ISSUE | SHOPPING BAGS Can carry our own City Councilman Mark Squilla's proposal to impose a 5-cent fee on all shopping bags has been criticized as a potential hardship for the poor. To remedy the objection, why not provide reusable bags to consumers who need them and then offer a credit for their use, as some grocery stores do? Using reusable bags is not an income-related issue; it is a way of thinking and planning ahead. Not so long ago, shoppers carried their own shopping bags.
March 4, 2015 |
Gov. Wolf's broad proposal to reshape Pennsylvania's corporate-tax structure comes as a 2013 law takes effect that was adopted specifically to close a tax loophole Wolf has opposed. In his first budget address Tuesday, Wolf will include corporate-tax rate cuts through 2018 and aim to eliminate certain corporate-tax deductions. "The governor's proposal will promote economic growth, create strong middle-class jobs, and make companies want to invest and grow in Pennsylvania," spokesman Jeff Sheridan said.
February 27, 2015 |
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Gov. Wolf on Wednesday proposed cutting the state corporate net income tax rate in half by 2018, a step he said would allow Pennsylvania to move from the nation's second-highest rate to one of its lowest. Unveiling pieces of his economic plan to Lehigh Valley business leaders, Wolf called for gradually reducing the corporate net income tax from 9.99 percent to 4.99 percent, and eliminating the already-expiring capital stock and franchise tax. Wolf also said he wanted to implement "combined reporting," a concept in which the state could tax a multistate corporation's total revenue, not just its Pennsylvania earnings.
February 16, 2015 |
State Rep. Becky Corbin (R., Chester) knows about the ravages of contagious disease. Growing up in Johnstown in the 1950s before there was a measles vaccine, Corbin was one of the many thousands of children who contracted the disease. Corbin, who said she still bears the physical scars from measles, went on to become a pharmaceutical chemist. Now as a lawmaker she is spearheading legislation to end the exemption for those who have philosophical objections to vaccines. "I worked to combat the spread of disease, and nothing has been more effective in doing so than vaccinating children," she said Friday.
October 19, 2014 |
A BILL to eliminate a little-known carve-out in state law that allows a person in a labor dispute to stalk, harass or threaten another person in the dispute is expected to die Monday when the House concludes voting this session. The House is not planning to vote on a Senate-amended version of House Bill 1154 during its final voting day. State Rep. Ron Miller, R-York, who sponsored the bill, and others have had concerns about the Senate-amended bill. Yesterday, he said it's "unfortunate" that the bill will die. "There should not be a loophole in the law. There should not be an exemption.
October 18, 2014 |
The Pennsylvania Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday to close a loophole that for years has let repeat drunken drivers legally stay behind the wheel. The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association applauded the passage. "It is always gratifying when the legislature comes together on a bipartisan basis and takes steps to protect the public, and that is exactly what happened here," said Greg Rowe, the association's legislative liaison. Gov. Corbett's office said he would sign the bill.