State Capitol Roundup
1/27/2012

Lawmakers Unveil Legislation to Create a Fairer and Competitive Environment for PA Businesses

 

A bipartisan group of House members came together this week to announce legislation aimed at helping to create a fairer business climate in Pennsylvania.  House Bill 2150 would close the “Delaware Loophole,” a tax avoidance practice currently employed by some multi-state corporations to reduce their Pennsylvania tax liabilities by transferring the ownership of intangible assets to an affiliated company in Delaware.  The bill would only affect businesses that are taking advantage of the loophole for the sole purpose of avoiding paying taxes in Pennsylvania and would use revenue gained from closing the loophole to reduce Pennsylvania’s overall business tax burden.  Closing the Delaware Loophole would enable the Commonwealth to gradually reduce the Corporate Net Income tax during the next six years and gradually phase out the cap on net operating losses during the next nine years, giving businesses room to add jobs in Pennsylvania.

 

Measure Aimed at Reducing the Size of the Legislature

Gains Committee Approval

 

A measure that would reduce the size of the House of Representatives from the current 203 members to 153 advanced from the House State Government Committee this week.  House Bill 153 aims to increase efficiency, streamline government and increase effectiveness of the House.  Changing the size of the Legislature would require an amendment to the state Constitution, which means the same bill must be debated and passed in two consecutive legislative sessions, and subsequently approved by referendum vote of the people of Pennsylvania.  With 203 members, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is the second largest in the nation.  House Bill 153 now goes before the full House for consideration.

 

Small Games of Chance Updates Headed to Governor’s Desk

 

Legislation to benefit nonprofit associations, charitable organizations and other civic groups to raise revenues to support their communities was approved on concurrence this week in the House and now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.  House Bill 169 would update the Small Games of Chance Act, which has not been changed since 1988.  The bill would increase prize limits for prize payouts from $500 to $1,000 for daily drawings, from $5,000 to $25,000 for weekly drawings and from $5,000 to $10,000 for raffles per calendar month.  At least 70 percent of proceeds raised by these organizations would be distributed for public interest purposes, and up to 30 percent of the money raised can be used by the organizations to help maintain capital projects such as fixing a roof or heating system.  The Senate amended the bill to include measures that permit fire and emergency services to hold a raffle with $50,000 prize limits and to require clubs with liquor licenses to submit semi-annual reports to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

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