Conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research, the survey showed that 48 percent of employers rated Pennsylvania’s overall business climate as either “excellent” or “good,” down from last year’s 57 percent. Only 16 percent believe that the Keystone State’s business climate has improved over the last 12 months, which is a five-year low not seen since the peak of the recession in 2009-2010.
“The economic survey results we’ve seen in recent years show that while Pennsylvania’s business community has bounced back somewhat since the recession, they still have a long way to go,” PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr said. “That’s why the Pennsylvania Chamber is speaking out against the (Gov. Tom) Wolf administration’s proposed tax increases, including raising the personal income tax and the state sales tax.”
Matching a low not seen for four years, 1 in 3 employers reported increased sales last year. Of the 651 employers surveyed statewide, 39 percent expect sales to increase in the coming months, down slightly from 45 percent last year. Survey respondents continued to list the economy as their top concern (17 percent); followed by taxes (12 percent) and health care costs (11 percent).
“While new and higher taxes could have negative consequences for businesses of any size… small businesses…bear the greatest financial burden,” High Center Executive Director Michael Mitchell said. “Current efforts to raise taxes threaten employer confidence in the future economy and could undermine the strides that have been made in recent years to boost Pennsylvania’s economic bottom line and improve the quality of life for every resident.”
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state’s largest broad-based business association with statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and sectors.