August 10, 2012 |
DES MOINES, Iowa - It's an overriding conservative principle: Scale back government interference and let businesses survive or fail on their merits. But standing by that principle may hurt Mitt Romney in Iowa, a hotly contested swing state that could provide a crucial six electoral college votes in November. Romney recently upset many conservatives here by saying he would end a government tax credit that helps subsidize a burgeoning wind industry in the state. Some of them - farmers who earn tens of thousands of dollars a year for having wind turbines on their property - say they won't vote for Romney because of his wind position.
August 3, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The Senate's tax-writing panel voted to renew dozens of tax breaks for businesses like biodiesel and wind energy producers, even as the GOP-controlled House passed symbolic legislation to erase them and create a new tax code with lower rates and fewer special-interest tax breaks. The $200 billion-plus package was approved by the Senate Finance Committee Thursday on a bipartisan 19-5 vote. It was anchored by a two-year provision to protect middle- and upper-income taxpayers from being hit by the alternative minimum tax, shielding them from higher levies originally meant to prevent the rich from escaping taxes altogether.
July 31, 2012 |
ANDREA DOUGHERTY, a mother of three young children, cleans houses for a living and dreams of returning to school to become a hairdresser. That's a lot for the 26-year-old Delaware County woman to juggle, even with support from her partner and family. And to hold down her $300-a-week job, Dougherty says, she needs state help to pay for reliable child care for her two sons and newborn daughter. But for almost a year, Dougherty has been able to get assistance for only her 3-year-old to go to a full-time day-care center.
July 30, 2012 |
Signs point to improvement - more home sales than in 2011, and slower price declines - but the Philadelphia area's residential real estate market is still some distance away from full recovery. The first six months of 2012 saw a 12.7 percent year-over-year increase in sales of previously owned homes, according to Prudential Fox & Roach's HomExpert Market Report, which is based on Trend Multiple Listing Service sales data by zip code. Quarterly breakdowns show a 9 percent rise in sales during the first three months of this year over last year's January-to-March period and an 8.1 percent gain in the second three months from 2011's April-to-June period.
July 18, 2012 |
Pennsylvania has more designated historic structures than almost any other state. So it's good to see it finally take a proactive step that could help save a lot more of them from the wrecking ball. Gov. Corbett has signed into law a generous incentive to preserve historic buildings: a 25 percent tax credit. The tax credits should help attract developers to blighted communities around the state. The tax credits represent a major victory for preservationists, who have been pushing for the legislation for 16 years.
July 12, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania will soon offer a new sweetener to attract developers to blighted communities: a tax credit for restoring historic buildings. After 16 years of on-and-off debate, legislation establishing a 25 percent tax credit for historic-preservation projects rolled through the General Assembly straight to Gov. Corbett's desk in the final hours before lawmakers' summer recess. With Corbett's signature last week, Pennsylvania - which boasts one of the largest numbers of designated historic structures in the nation - became the 30th state to provide such a tax credit.
July 11, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania will soon offer a new sweetener to attract developers to blighted communities: a tax credit for restoring historic buildings. After 16 years of on-and-off debate, legislation establishing a 25-percent tax credit for historic preservation projects rolled through the General Assembly and straight to Gov. Corbett's desk in the final hours before summer recess. With Corbett's signature last week, Pennsylvania - which boasts one of the largest numbers of designated historic structures in the nation - became the 30th state to provide such a tax credit.
July 6, 2012 |
DO THE DOLLARS we spend on vacation really count? Most of us spending money on cheap trinkets and overpriced T-shirts don't believe they do — until we get the credit-card bills. Similarly, it appears state lawmakers believe that the money earmarked for tax-credit programs don't really count, either. That might explain the ease with which they doubled the amount of tax credits earmarked for corporate contributions to education. The Educational Improvement Tax Credit program will grow from $75 million to $100 million, and an additional $50 million in credits will fund a new program targeted to students in the lowest-performing public schools.
July 3, 2012 |
Gov. Corbett, who has pushed hard for a school-voucher program, achieved much of that goal Saturday night through the expansion of a corporate tax credit that for the first time will pay for public school students to attend private schools. As part of the budget deal concluded just before midnight, the legislature broadened the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program (EITC), adding $50 million in tax breaks to businesses that donate money for scholarships to students in the state's lowest-performing schools.
July 2, 2012 |
TRENTON - Demanding that Democrats deliver his version of a tax cut, Gov. Christie invoked his constitutional powers Saturday to call lawmakers back from vacation into a special legislative session. The Republican governor notified Democratic legislative leaders with just 48 hours' notice, as legally mandated, and not a minute more. He will address a combined Assembly and Senate at 11 a.m. Monday and then leave the Statehouse chambers with the hope the bodies will debate his tax-cut recommendations.