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Main | Surface Pro 3 - For anyone who asks »
Friday
May192017

Governor Wolf's Tech Services Tax Resumption - Bad for IT

Governor Tom Wolf has a rotten idea in his new budget plan...

Last month he came to the Philly Tech Week event at Temple University, talked to a bevy of attendees and then spoke at a keynote. He made sure to show up for a photo opportunity in my training session, and talked with the majority of the students. He also addressed the community in a keynote. With that level of engagement, you'd think he was there to learn more about the tech community and support it.

You'd be wrong. Governor Wolf, who is a Democrat in an heavily Republican state government, just released his budget outline. Either he works for Don King (TAKE A DIVE!) or he's incredibly tone deaf.

A State Technology Services Tax

Ok, Governor Wolf. You picked a bad time to try to destroy a vibrant industry. Have you looked around lately? All. You. Have. To. Do. Is. Stay. In. Office. Trump, a complete idiot with zero experience, interest and aptitude in governing the country, is going to implode soon. So why would you BOTHER to present a budget that targets a single industry and tries to kill it with a heavy tax.

For those of you who don't know, the Wolf budget plan suggests a services tax be restored on the tech industry, and though his would only be the fifth state to enact it, his would be the largest, at 6%. Service industries, like consulting and training, would be hit. Hard. We'd be competing with other states, and companies who heavily use consultants would either have to lower their payments to offset the tax, increase what they pay (doubtful) or move out of state to avoid all of this extra cost. Like next door, to New Jersey, Ohio, Delaware...

Great idea, Governor. Tax one of the few vibrant industries as if we're all cans of soda and you want to raise revenue on our sugary attack on health. Except in this case, we're fueling innovation, growing successful businesses, incubating ideas and making things happen.

How About Playing Against Type?

If Donald Trump's profile is summed up as "Thunderous Arrogant Idiot", yours would probably be "Clueless Hack". Your inability to wrestle a decent budget for state education and support your professors and teachers, forcing the first strike in several decades at state universities, is one example. This is another. You're in a state with a majority Republican legislature, and you need an ideological win. This is not the one you should focus on. It raises taxes, it causes companies to re-evaluate their investment in PA and in tech companies, and it is wrong for our state.

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