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Economy & Business

Tom Corbett Receives High Marks In Fiscal Policy

The fiscally conservative Cato Institute today released its biennial Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors and Pennsylvania’s Tom Corbett received an “A."

According to the report, Corbett scored well because he has been a “frugal budgeter” who has reduced spending to a figure lower than when he entered office.

Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy Studies for Cato, said he was impressed by Corbett’s steep reduction of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax.

“The Governor came in and sort of in a businesslike way said ‘this is a dumb tax. This tax falls on 100,000 Pennsylvania businesses in addition to the 10 percent corporate income tax that Pennsylvania businesses also pay,” Edwards said. “So there’s no reason for Pennsylvania businesses to be punished with two whole different tax systems.”

According to the report, the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax rate was 2.89 mills in 2010-2011, and was reduced to 1.89 mills in 2012. Corbett plans to repeal this Tax in 2014.

Overall, 32 Governors who got a “C” grade or higher; only eight were Democrats. Of the 21 Governors receiving a “B” or higher, only two are Democrats. This is a sharp decline from 2010, where eight out of 19 Governors with a “B” grade or higher were Democrats.

Edwards acknowledged this trend, but noted nothing had changed in how the Governors were ranked.

“It is a data-driven report,” Edwards said. “And I think what is happening is that, like members of Congress, there seems to be a move to the left by the Democrats and a move to, sort of the smaller government right by Republicans. The parties are sort of shifting apart in their fiscal policy focus.”