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CPA Now
Feb 14, 2013

Pensions. Prevailing Wage. Taxes and More. Let the Debates in Harrisburg Begin!

By Peter Calcara, Vice President - Government Relations
With the Capitol rotunda’s white marble steps as a backdrop, members of the PICPA Fiscal Responsibility Task Force yesterday released a second report. The task force, created by the PICPA Council in 2010, is designed to position PICPA as a key public policy stakeholder in Pennsylvania.

Susan E. S. Howe, chair of the task force, said, “CPAs are in the unique position to provide state policymakers with technical expertise and strategic guidance as they address the major public policy issues of the day. The report helps strengthen our credibility with key audiences and enhances PICPA advocacy efforts. It is also a concrete example of our commitment to helping improve Pennsylvania’s economic climate.”

Fiscal Task Force

The task force’s first report, released in 2011, tackled 3 distinct issues: efficiency and streamlining government operations, state pensions, and transportation infrastructure funding.

In the new report, the task force updates the progress on the first set of recommendations and includes new sections on financially distress municipalities, prevailing wage, and taxation. These issues were added because the task force believes these are the next level of critical issues affecting the Commonwealth’s fiscal stability and financial well-being. We’ve clearly hit the mark. The top three questions at the press conference addressed pensions, prevailing wage, and distressed municipalities (Act 47), and this local report has brought the prevailing wage discussion to the forefront.

While the report has received wide support in many circles, there are some critics out there asking, “Why is PICPA doing this?” Or, “Is PICPA becoming too political?” To these individuals I quite simply say “why not!” Why should PICPA and its more than 20,000 members sit on the sidelines and let others decide the outcomes that impact us. PICPA has a civil and moral obligation to have its voice heard on the issues being discussed in Harrisburg.

With the release of this second report, PICPA is a catalyst for starting a dialogue on important issues that impact every citizen of this Commonwealth. We hand-delivered the report to every legislator and they can become familiar with the policy option we put forth and call upon us to testify and provide additional guidance as they address the state’s fiscal welfare. I encourage members to familiarize themselves with the report and follow up with their legislators to further support the PICPA’s efforts.

You can find more information about the Fiscal Responsibility Task Force here.

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Disclaimer
Statements of fact and opinion are the authors’ responsibility alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of PICPA officers or members. The information contained in herein does not constitute accounting, legal, or professional advice. For professional advice, please engage or consult a qualified professional.