A news article today spoke of the astronomical growth experienced by one Pennsylvania brewery and its plans in the not too distant future to build another brewery to keep up with demand.
Could the location be the Keystone state or somewhere else? Probably hard to say, but the brewery’s owner noted in the article that "Pennsylvania is a great location. But it’s not very business-friendly. You look for fair tax breaks, fair taxation. And the bottom line is more jobs. That’s what it’s all about."
So what is the company advocating for? Does it want Pennsylvania to reform its tax system so that businesses can grow and businesses from other places would be attracted to locate here without special tax treatment i.e. low business taxes for all and a sensible regulatory climate?
Or does it want the state to amp up its plethora of incentives, credits, tax free zones, and other targeted programs so that it will be incentivized to stay put? With every state playing the tax incentive game there are plenty of opportunities for the brewery to point out that it could locate somewhere else. Policymakers panic, carve out a package, offer it to the company, and hope for the best. The benefits are touted while the direct and indirect costs of picking winners and losers in the economic development game are downplayed. Then the business who thought the tax and business climate was unfriendly no longer thinks that way.