Pennsylvania leads the nation in corporate welfare. Between 2007 to 2016 alone, the Keystone State spent more than $6 billion on corporate subsidies. The Commonwealth Foundation reports that out of all 50 states, Pennsylvania comes in first place for corporate welfare.
What is Corporate Welfare?
When the government uses taxpayer dollars to subsidize businesses through grants, loans, subsidies and tax credits, it creates an unfair advantage for some business over others known as corporate welfare.
These special carve-outs for the well-connected hurt small businesses and start-ups, who cannot afford teams of lobbyists and lawyers to help them navigate the complex regulatory environment imposed by government bureaucrats and special interests.
The result of corporate welfare is a distorted economy. The government picks winners and losers and favors big business and special interests, making it harder for small businesses and start-ups to thrive. Our generation deserves a competitive and fair economic environment that allows businesses of any size or industry to succeed and fail on their own.
What are Examples of Corporate Welfare in Pennsylvania?
In mid-August, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center announced it would seek $750 million in tax-exempt bonds to use in its system located in cities across the state.
This $750 million would include $350 million to pay off other obligations, with over $400 million going to other construction and renovation projects.
Additional egregious examples of corporate welfare in Pennsylvania include:
*Spending over $600 million since 1999 on sports stadium subsidies;
*Spending $250 annually to fund horse racing and cash prizes;
*And spending $22 million in subsidies for Amazon.
These subsidies, meant to lure businesses to certain marketplaces and keep them in Pennsylvania, distort the economy, benefit special interests and hurt small businesses, start-ups and innovation.
Young people deserve an open and fair marketplace where everyone has an equal opportunity to compete, leading to greater economic growth and fulfillment.