Lincoln * Institute

Donate

Please click to donate to the Lincoln Institute.

Lincoln Institute
of Public Opinion Research, Inc.

5405 Jonestown Road, Suite #110
Harrisburg, PA 17112

Phone: (717) 671-0776
Fax: (717) 671-1176

2013 Spring Business Climate Survey

by Lincoln Institute
 

Total Started Survey: 260

Total Finished Survey: 251 (96.5%)

Section I: Business Climate

1. In general, do you think business conditions in Pennsylvania are better, the same, or worse than they were SIX MONTHS AGO?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Better17.0%44
Same46.7%121
Worse35.1%91
No Opinion1.2%3
answered question 259
skipped question 1

2. LOOKING AHEAD SIX MONTHS, do you think business conditions will be better, the same, or worse than they are now?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Better19.3%50
Same46.7%121
Worse32.4%84
No Opinion1.5%4
answered question 259
skipped question 1

3. Are employment levels at your company higher, the same, or lower, than they were SIX MONTHS AGO?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Higher8.5%22
Same62.3%162
Lower27.3%71
No Opinion1.9%5
answered question 260
skipped question 0

4. LOOKING AHEAD SIX MONTHS, do you anticipate that employment levels at your company will be higher, stay the same, or be lower?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Higher14.7%38
Same65.3%169
Lower16.6%43
No Opinion3.5%9
answered question 259
skipped question 1

5. Have your company's sales increased, stayed relatively the same, or decreased during the PAST SIX MONTHS?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Increased16.7%43
Same36.2%93
Decreased46.3%119
No Opinion0.8%2
answered question 257
skipped question 3

6. Do you expect your company's sales to increase, stay relatively the same, or decrease during the COMING SIX MONTHS?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Increase27.6%70
Same51.2%130
Decrease18.5%47
No Opinion2.8%7
answered question 254
skipped question 6

7. At any point in the PAST SIX MONTHS has your company considered moving all or part of its Pennsylvania operations to another state?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Did move some operations1.2%3
Considered moving some operations8.2%21
Considered moving all operations10.1%26
Moved operations into Pennsylvania0.0%0
Didn't consider any moves80.5%207
answered question257
skipped question3

8. Do you foresee at any point in the COMING SIX MONTHS your company considering moving all or part of its Pennsylvania operations to another state?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

May move all operations9.0%23
May move some operations5.9%15
Not considering any moves84.3%215
May move operations INTO Pennsylvania0.8%2
answered question255
skipped question5

9. In general, do you have a POSITIVE, NEGATIVE or NO OPINION of the job performance of the following individuals?


Response PercentResponse

Count

PositiveNegativeNo OpinionRating

Count

President Barack Obama11.6% (30)84.1% (217)4.3% (11)258
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke19.1% (49)59.4% (152)21.5% (55)256
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey57.8% (149)18.6% (48)23.6% (61)258
U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.13.7% (35)69.5% (178)16.8% (43)256
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew5.8% (15)48.1% (124)46.1% (119)258
Governor Tom Corbett49.8% (128)32.3% (83)17.9% (46)257
Attorney General Kathleen Kane21.0% (54)27.6% (71)51.4% (132)257
Auditor General Eugene Depasquale8.6% (22)14.0% (36)77.4% (199)257
State Treasurer Rob McCord13.3% (34)13.7% (35)73.0% (187)256
answered question258
skipped question2

10. In general, do you have a POSITIVE, NEGATIVE, or NO OPINION of the job performance of the following institutions?


Response PercentResponse

Count

PositiveNegativeNo OpinionRating

Count

United States Senate3.1% (8)94.6% (245)2.3% (6)259
United States House of Representatives22.9% (59)70.9% (183)6.2% (16)258
Pennsylvania Senate25.1% (65)54.1% (140)20.8% (54)259
Pennsylvania House of Representatives32.7% (84)48.2% (124)19.1% (49)257
answered question259
skipped question1

Section II: Issues

11. Do you AGREE or DISAGREE with Governor Tom Corbett's decision not to set up a state-based Medicaid health exchange under provisions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).


Response

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY AGREE36.1%90
SOMEWHAT AGREE28.9%72
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE11.6%29
STRONGLY DISAGREE13.3%33
REFUSED/NO OPINION10.0%25
answered question249
skipped question11

12. What steps have you taken to comply with provisions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)? Check all that apply.


Response

Percent

Response

Count

INCREASE EMPLOYEE CO-PAY14.9%36
CUT STAFF/HOURS10.3%25
RAISE PRODUCT/SERVICE PRICES8.3%20
DISCONTINUE PROVIDING HEALTH COVERAGE5.0%12
NO CHANGE62.4%151
REFUSED/NO OPINION11.6%28
Other

* increase co pay

* We are too small to be effected

* Obamacare is a joke

* our medical insurance just went up 25%

* Will provide dollars to assist the employee but not able to pass the cost on to clients so need to discontinue health coverage

* Still evaluating options

* my opinion will not count because im not a millionaire.

* Had to change to a high deductible plan.

* Limited any hiring

* Does not affect my business due to number of employees.

* will probably discontinue

* Small company now

* SPEND MORE TIME REVIEWING THE CHANGE

* Frozen Health Care any increase born by employee's

* I am closing my business

* I am too small to provide for healthcare

* We do not provide health benefits

* No Change Yet - But we will have to pass on highr costs to the emploees msot likely

* waiting for the appeal

* Limiting hiring

* considering decreasing the % we pay for ee's health insurance

* Closing US manufacturing sending jobs to Mexico.

* Obamacare will make it easier for me to offer insurance.

* Have not decided our response yet

24
answered question242
skipped question18

13. The Corbett Administration is trying to privatize the administrative operations of the Pennsylvania Lottery. Do you think lottery operations should be placed into private hands, or should they continue to be administered by government employees?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

PLACE LOTTERY OPERATIONS IN PRIVATE HANDS53.2%133
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES SHOULD ADMINISTER THE LOTTERY28.0%70
REFUSED/NO OPINION18.8%47
answered question250
skipped question10

14. A number of public employee retirement systems, ranging from those covering state employees to school districts to municipalities, are projected to experience a significant shortfall in funding in the near future. To deal with that shortfall should governments (check all that apply):


Response

Percent

Response

Count

RAISE TAXES TO COVER THE SHORTFALL4.2%10
DIVERT SPENDING FROM OTHER AREAS TO COVER THE SHORTFALL24.7%59
CUT BENEFITS TO RETIREES57.3%137
REQUIRE HIGHER EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS77.0%184
ALL OF THE ABOVE7.9%19
REFUSED/NO OPINION1.3%3
Other

* make cuts everywhere plus higher employee contributions

* My answer would depend on why there is a shortfall. If the employee was made a promise, and the government cannot keep it, then the government must divert funds from its own coffers to honor the promise. Not cut programs, not make other citizens pay the difference through a cut in services. And if this statement is true, shame on our government for not seeing it coming.

* Hedge the shortfall.

* Unions greed is why they are in trouble. Let them pay, not me!!!!!!!

* got back to the pa representatives/senators that knowingly neglected to keep the funds that were paid in for that purpose and take those funds from THEIR retirement.

* Get rid of Corbett. He's a moron

* convert to 401k not defined benefit pension

* That's what we do in the private sector. if you want higher benefits, you have to contribute to get them.

* Move from a Pension to 401K type option -- should be similar to business

* cut benefits to future retirees

* End Collective Bargaining - New reasonable plan for all new hires. Stop schools collecting Union Dues

* They created this and ignored the results -- our government

* Make sure everyone collecting is entitled cut out the fraud.

* DIVERT MONEY FROM LEGISLATORS WHO APPROVED THIS SHORTFALL

* state entitlement retirement system need revamped what is paid in once if not managed should not have to be replaced if squandered in Wall Street

* stop wasting money on wam projects

* Find the source of the shortfall, cut waste and useless programs.

* Public employees should run their own pension plansi

* Make them work more than 20 years to get a pension most taxpayers do

* Change to defined contribution plans

* Cut spending on the legislators their staffs

* terminate defined benefit plans for ALL future employees

* All except adding taxes

* CUT PORK BARREL SPENDING

* Eliminate defined benefits

* Move to a defined contribution plan

* How about the fund the benefits that they negotiated

* cut spending within each org

* Sell State stores and put money into retirement plans

29
answered question239
skipped question21

15. Governor Tom Corbett has proposed lifting the cap on the Oil Company Franchise Tax to raise additional state revenue for spending on transportation infracture improvements including roads and bridges. Do you AGREE or DISAGREE with his plan to lift that cap?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY AGREE17.7%44
SOMEWHAT AGREE39.1%97
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE16.9%42
STRONGLY DISAGREE21.4%53
REFUSED/NO OPINION6.0%15
answered question248
skipped question12

16. Would you AGREE or DISAGREE with the Governor's plan to lift the cap on the Oil Company Franchise Tax if you were told it could result in an increase of gasoline at the pump of over 20 cents per gallon?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY AGREE9.3%23
SOMEWHAT AGREE19.1%47
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE22.4%55
STRONGLY DISAGREE46.7%115
REFUSED/NO OPINION2.4%6
answered question246
skipped question14

17. Would you support any of the following means of raising additional dollars for spending on state transportation infrastructure needs including roads and bridges?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

RAISE GENERAL FUND TAXES4.5%11
RAISE THE GASOLINE TAX19.4%48
RAISE VEHICLE REGISTRATION FEES32.0%79
RAISE DRIVER LICENSE RENEWAL FEES30.4%75
CUT ADMINISTRATIVE OVERHEAD88.3%218
CUT SPENDING IN OTHER AREAS AND DIVERT TO TRANSPORTATION44.9%111
THE FUNDING CRISIS IS OVERBLOWN AND NO ADDITIONAL FUNDS ARE NEEDED15.0%37
REFUSED/NO OPINION0.4%1
Other

* raise the FEDERAL gasoline tax.

* Natural Gas Tax On Exports

* Why can't gov. figure this out. You can not continue to pay high wages @ benefits.Many teachers @ state employes retire on the same wages as when they worked.

* stop wasting the tax payer funds through poor management

* reduce the waste in government

* gas tax would have to be MINIMAL

* Phase out entitlement programs and cut taxes across the board. End state/municipal pension programs and force all gov. workers to fund their own health insurance.

* Why is our governor the highest paid of all 50 states -- why do we need so many representatives so that we have more than other states -- times have changed -- reduce not increase

* fire head people in penndot because employes do not work hard .

* Pennsylvania has too many government employees

* Cut spending please

* Place the system into the hands of private companys

* Cut out the waste political stealing favors

* Open bidding for projects to non-union as well as union based contractors

* Reduce public employee benefits

* Charge registration fees to those trucks coming from NY NJ ports using our roads and not spending any money on fuel (fuel tax rev) here in our state.

* Higher Forensic Accountants To Find The Money

* Privatize PennDOT

* Get rid of the Turnpike Commission and give it all to Dept of Transportation

* Cut spending to legislature and PennDOT

* Investigate first. Government is knee deep with corruption.

* The Governer's plan spends mony on everything instead of roads

* Increase the vehicle reg fee and increase the term

* Programs have seen too much cutting

* Stop wasting money everywhere, i cant run my business like that!

* Cur down on entiltments to state pensions

* Convert Interstates to toll roads

27
answered question247
skipped question13

18. The General Assembly is considering a plan to end the state's liquor store monopoly and place distribution and retail sales of wine and spirits in private hands. Do you APPROVE or DISAPPROVE of privatizing the state's liquor stores?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY APPROVE64.7%161
SOMEWHAT APPROVE20.5%51
SOMEWHAT DISAPPROVE6.0%15
STRONGLY DISAPPROVE6.4%16
REFUSED/NO OPINION2.4%6
answered question249
skipped question11

19. For two years in a row Governor Tom Corbett has proposed and the General Assembly has approved state general fund budgets that held spending at a rate where no additional taxes were required. Development of the 2013-1014 state budget is now underway. Generally speaking do you think:


Response

Percent

Response

Count

STATE SPENDING SHOULD BE CUT FURTHER56.3%134
THE CURRENT TAX/SPENDING LEVELS ARE APPROPRIATE36.6%87
STATE GOVERNMENT SHOULD INCREASE TAXES AND SPENDING4.2%10
REFUSED/NO OPINION2.9%7
Other

* cut out the waste

* The issues are ... priorities and fraud, waste and abuse. Fund infrastructure transportation. Indentivize the welfare and assistance programs (up or out).

* I cut, did they !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

* reduce waste in government programs

* Hold on increased spending.

* Phase out entitlement programs and cut taxes across the board. End state/municipal pension programs and force all gov. workers to fund their own insurance.

* Cut the size, length of time in session and retirement benefits of state legislators.

* Cut welfare, subsidized state housing, education grants/scholarships to foreign students

* The state budget should be balanced.

* Stop spending money foolishly!!!!

* They should spend the money properly, without all of the waste that has occured in the past. Run it like a business without the politics.

* Cut # of employees and benefits

* wasteful spending needs cut, ex government vehicles use for personal use driving to and from work, that is wasting alot of money. that's just one example.

* Cut Legislators Hours And Pay

* cut wasteful spending

* Gov. Corbett's 3% spending cut was a mere joke!

* There are critical areas that are being under funded. Itf it comtines the economy and quality of life will deteriorate.

* Increase taxes on the natural gas drilling industry. Eliminate aid to illegals.

* Spending less is the only thing you can do when you have commitments you cant meet

* Hold spending and increase taxes to cover any shortfall

20
answered question238
skipped question22

20. Do you SUPPORT or OPPOSE additional restrictions on the sale and purchase of firearms.


Response

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY SUPPORT ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS11.2%28
SOMEWHAT SUPPORT ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS19.7%49
SOMEWHAT OPPOSE ADDITIONAL RESTRUCTIONS17.7%44
STRONGLY OPPOSE ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS50.2%125
REFUSED/NO OPINION1.2%3
answered question249
skipped question11

21. Automatic federal spending cuts, known as sequestration, took effect at the beginning of March. Have these cuts had a POSTIVE, NEGATIVE, or NO IMPACT on your business?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

POSITIVE3.2%8
NEGATIVE12.0%30
NO IMPACT79.5%198
REFUSED/NO OPINION5.2%13
answered question249
skipped question11

22. There has been much discussion and debate over the rising national debt. What impact do you see the national debt having on the U.S. Economy?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

SIGNIFICANT POSTIVE IMPACT3.6%9
SOMEWHAT POSITIVE IMPACT1.6%4
NO IMPACT3.6%9
SOMEWHAT NEGATIVE IMPACT13.2%33
SIGNIFICANT NEGATIVE IMPACT76.8%192
REFUSED/NO OPINION1.2%3
answered question250
skipped question10

23. In what part of Pennsylvania is your business located?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Northwest PA8.4%21
Southwest PA15.7%39
Northcentral PA8.0%20
Altoona/Johnstown3.2%8
Southcentral/Harrisburg19.7%49
Southeastern PA29.7%74
Lehigh Valley8.0%20
Northeastern PA7.2%18
answered question249
skipped question11

24. Which category best describes your position at the business in which your work:


Response

Percent

Response

Count

OWNER79.7%200
CEO/COO/CFO14.7%37
STATE MANAGER0.8%2
LOCAL MANAGER1.6%4
NO ANSWER/REFUSED1.2%3
Other

* office manager

* VP

* President/Former owner

* sales and operations

* AP/PAYROLL CLERK

2.0%5
answered question251
skipped question9

25. Please feel free to make any additional comments or observations about Pennsylvania's business climate.


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Responses

*PA needs right to work.

* I own an auto repair business. We have struggled and made huge cuts and sacrifices to keep operating our business.The housing bubble crash hurt us badly. But we survived .Then the auto bailout and cash for clunkers program hurt us even more.Now the healthcare overhaul ? When does it end? Every time the government gets in the way things get even worse.The auto bailouts were supposed to keep jobs in the U.S. for american workers ,What B. S. that was . Imagine how we felt when a new chevy traverse came into our shop and every piece on it says made in china. And you guys want us to trust you. Gimme a break. Get out of our way and let the american people build america. It's all the government regulations that is the problem. It's about time that the government tightens it's belt loops a little and make some spending cuts like we have.My wife was grocery shopping for us the other day and on the way back to our car she found a receipt on the ground so she picked it up,much to her surprise it had four purchases for lobster and two purchases for porter house steaks on it and low and behold at the bottom of the receipt it said paid for on the PA EBT card.It's getting pretty bad when the none working people eat better than the working people. Thank You .

* Roads need improvement, both to improve road surface and reduce traffic jams.

* I have voted every election, local, state and national, since I was 16. I generally vote along party lines, but never the party slot, I vote issues. For the first time in 30 years, I will withhold a vote, or vote for the politician of any party, that supports increasing gun laws and restrictions. The lesson from the last election is that money doesn't buy votes, it is time for politicians to out children and our families. And I say this as a registered gun owner.

* Spending exceeds revenue. We must address that. Spend on things that grow an economy. Incentivize the welfare and assistance programs (promote up or out options and enforce those). Stop subsidizing large businesses. Recreate the trade school system(s). We need skilled workers (technology, infrastructure, engineering (mechanical, electrical, electronic). You don't necessarily need a 4 year degree (the University system is corrupted and dysfunctional ... it doesn't create a skilled worker ... it consumes money and produces very little). Fix it or we will live through the repercussions. Thanks, Wes Maughan

* If this Congress and this Administration fails to control the level of debt and to reverse it the United States is enroute to second rate nation status. What has happened and continues to happen with spending and borrowing is absolute proof that this congress and administration is incapable of running this country's business. In my opinion, we need to have a syst that allows for layoffs in our congress. There is no way we need 435 Congressmen and 100 Senators to cripple this country the manner In which they have. We could be in no worse shape as a nation with half of the legislators currently seated in Washington.

* Way to many regulations.DEP has no boss.Penn Dot waste millions.Tree huggers need to back off.After 35 years in business, I can;t believe our leadership has led us here. Wayne Feight

* The PA legislature Chamber of Commerce need to structure plans indigenous to all 8 locales mentioned above to provide avenues for job solutions that will provide much more revenue to PA coffers. More jobs provided by employers = more employees paying taxes should = a balanced budget to provide all NECESSARY areas for the general welfare. Information needs to be instilled in the general populace that in order for services to be provided, someone needs to work to provide taxes, and that able-bodied people need to be that someone. Just as much, legislators need to realize these economic times are not conducive to promoting unnecessary projects!

* It sucks right now and the state should assist businesses to gain sales and markets

* Tax rates are so high that turning a profit has become difficult,which in turn prevents positive growth resulting in hiring more employees.

* The government of the state IS a business and should be run like one. That means making and meeting budgets. Insuring that the workers are doing their jobs without causing the TAX PAYER further complications with increased paperwork and regulation.

* PA needs to do more for small business in terms of attracting, maintaining, making favorable legislation.

* Improving -need more tax breaks fro small business

* Phase out entitlement programs and cut taxes across the board. End state/municipal pension programs and force all gov. workers to fund their own insurance. Government workers should not be allowed to unionize, nor "bargain" collectively.

* We need to encourage business to come to PA. Please push to establish the FAA center at the former Willow Grove Navy base.

* Wish I had left years ago -- too much pay to play. I have set-up companies in other states and have not been as challenged as in PA -- people do not leave and people who move in leave to get away

* with republican control of the 3 branches we should be getting more pro business reform done. What a missed opportunity. Where is the republican leadership?

* There is far too much government at all levels. Guaranteed pension plans for government employees at all levels needs to come to an end.

* Marcelus Shale has been a major help in SW PA, please don't screw it up.

* The rich people do not get taxed enough.

* We need more politicians who see the importance of small,medium and large business impact on all facets of life.They are the life blood of your city,state and country.

* LETS TRY TO LOWER SPENDING AND TAXES SO MORE BUSINESSES COME TO PA.. LETS ALSO MAKE THE LAWS STRICTER ON WELFARE ABUSE AND DRUG ABUSE THEY GO HAND IN HAND MOST OF THE TIME.

* I BELIEVE THERE IS NO CONSUMER CONFIDENCE BECAUSE OF ACTIONS, REGULATIONS AND FEAR OF OBAMACARE TAKEN BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

* Gov. should also buy local and stop spending so much money (especially technology) out of state. Improve COSTARS program and encourage relations ships at the right price rather that lowest bidding that they fail to manage. Prevailing wage must go. Pay what the job is worth no more no less.

* Governer Corbet and his adminstration and NFIB are doing a very good job. Keep up the good work. work.

* Too much government, which means too much government spending. Also, discrimination against Christians and their beliefs will be the downfall of our country.

* Eliminate property tax in favor of 1-2% addition to sales tax. State house and senate should be part time and reduced in size as Florida and others have done.

* smaller government, larger incentives

* improving

* Cutting regulations and environmental concerns may help most. Stop the ethinol in gasoline madness. It cuts gas mileage and ruins engines.

* We need to repeal the Prevailing Wage Act. We could then do 20% to 30% more infracture repairs for the same money.

* Pennsylvania has too many employees and needs to re-assess it's budgets Pensions are out of line and Pennsylvania is like our Federal government -- needs to consolidate departments and programs

* I think it is well past the time to get the education funding under control and make teachers become accountable for their performance. Also I think the county school system would be a better way to curb spending, having one Superintendent rather 4, 5 or 10 districts with as many Superintendents.

* money is tight,making spending tight.

* Poor

* STALLED DUE TO FEDERAL SOCIALISM

* PA is moving in the right direction but needs do more to make the business climate competitive.

* Taxes need to be lowered to encourage business development here.

* I'm afraid it may be late for the poor working people of our once great country. With the takers now outnumbering the makers, I'm afraid it's over. Revolution at some point---probably

* Interested in School Real Estate tax elimination. Commercial taxes on my small business in a rural area hit me hard.

* We need to get the unions under control. We as taxpayers get tired of paying for everyone else's big unnecessary benefit packages, etc.

* Our company's UC rate is almost 10%... how can I hire anyone? As an S-Corp eventhough I can't collect UC I am required to pay UC...

* Cut the number public employees and their benefits. Eliminate the Estate tax. Eliminate the corp. stock and franchise tax. Reduce the gasoline and diesel fuel tax. Cut the bloated state government.

* Randell wanted to toll I80 but couldn't do the paperwork Corbett should consider this option

* The Governor is doing a good job but needs to pick his battles wisely to be sure he gets reelected

* I have many clients throughout the US, and PA seems to be one of the worst states to own and operate a business.

* Bring State Wages and Benefits in line with non-State employed!

* Privatization of PennDOT activities. For profit/bidding with min DOT oversight would save!!

* Increased PA environmental regulations have caused me to consider going out of business.

* Employers are faced with difficult challanges with employment issues. Most low pay people would rather stay on unemployment than work at $ 10 / hour. Unemployment compensation is a national discrace.

68
answered question68
skipped question192