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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: May 7, 2020 02:14 PM
From: Representative Scott Conklin
To: All House members
Subject: Corporate Realty Transfer Tax Loophole
What do potholes and tax loopholes have in common? If not addressed, both are controversial topics and both cost taxpayers quite a bit of money. Ironically, tax loopholes exploited by big businesses create income potholes for taxpayers who end up backfilling the lost state and local government revenues.  

On May 2, 2020, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published an article regarding the practices used to sell the Westinghouse Electric Company campus in Cranberry Township, Butler County. Rather than selling the property outright, subsidiaries were created and transferred along with the property to the new owner. While legal, a loophole in Pennsylvania law was utilized to reduce the amount of realty transfer tax paid on the property. Unfortunately, this is not the first time a large business entity has exploited this loophole resulting in lost revenues to both the Commonwealth and local governments.

In these difficult economic times, Pennsylvanians should be focused on putting meals on their tables and keeping roofs over their heads.  As legislators, it is our responsibility to make sure corporations and large businesses pay their fair share. Let’s work together to close this tax loophole and hold businesses accountable.