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Letters: State budget deal has plenty of broad taxes

In your story Saturday titled "Deal to end budget stalemate," you say that "the deal avoids any broad-based tax hikes." What the heck do you think a "broad-based tax" means?

In your story Saturday titled "Deal to end budget stalemate," you say that "the deal avoids any broad-based tax hikes." What the heck do you think a "broad-based tax" means?

The proposed tax increases, totaling more than $700 million, will affect most Pennsylvanians, including:

Everyone who smokes cigarettes or small cigars.

Anyone who plays table games in casinos, or bingo at his or her local fire hall.

Everyone who attends concerts, plays, or visits museums.

Businesses - largely manufacturers - hit by the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax. Of course, businesses will only pass these costs on to consumers via higher prices, so the CSFT increase affects anyone who buys goods produced in Pennsylvania.

Frankly, taxes should be "broad-based," rather than applied to narrow segments of the population, to keep tax rates low. Unfortunately, myriad tax increases in the state budget deal only serve to increase our state's tax burden to fund bloated spending. And almost everyone in Pennsylvania will see more of his or her hard-earned income taken away with one or more of these tax hikes.

Nathan A. Benefield

Director of policy research

Commonwealth Foundation

Harrisburg

nab@commonwealthfoundation.org