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Lincoln Institute
of Public Opinion Research, Inc.

5405 Jonestown Road, Suite #110
Harrisburg, PA 17112

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

Fall 2015 Keystone Business Climate Survey

Response Summary


by Lincoln Institute
 

Total Started Survey: 324

Total Finished Survey: 324  (100.0%)

Section I: Issues

1. Who is to blame for the current state budget impasse?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

GOVERNOR WOLF57.76%186
LEGISLATIVE DEMOCRATS1.86%%6
LEGISLATIVE REPUBLICANS5.90%19
THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE32.30%104
REFUSED/NO OPINION2.17%7
Anwered 322
Skipped 2
Total 324

2. Do you think Governor Wolf's proposed state budget will IMPROVE or HARM Pennsylvania's overall business climate?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE3.11%10
SOMEWHAT IMPROVE9.94%%32
SOMEWHAT HARM16.46%53
SIGNIFICANTLY HARM64.29%207
REFUSED/NO OPINION6.21%20
Anwered 322
Skipped 2
Total 324

3. Generally speaking, do you think state government spends TOO MUCH, ABOUT THE RIGHT AMOUNT, or TOO LITTLE on K-12 public education??


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

TOO MUCH44.06%141
ABOUT THE RIGHT AMOUNT29.38%94
TOO LITTLE21.88%70
REFUSED/NO OPINION4.69%15
Anwered 320
Skipped 4
Total 324

4. Do you AGREE or DISAGREE with this statement:  The public education pension system must be reformed before state spending for K-12 education is increased?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY AGREE72.19%231
SOMEWHAT AGREE14.69%47
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE4.69%15
STRONGLY DISAGREE5.31%17
REFUSED/NO OPINION3.13%10
Anwered 320
Skipped 4
Total 324

5. Do you AGREE or DISAGREE with this statement: Any resolution to the state budget impasse must include a plan to privatize Pennsylvania's state-run liquor store system?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY AGREE35.42%113
SOMEWHAT AGREE33.54%107
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE10.66%34
STRONGLY DISAGREE10.97%35
REFUSED/NO OPINION9.40%30
Anwered 319
Skipped 5
Total 324

6. Do you AGREE or DISAGREE with this statement: A new state budget should be adopted immediately even if it means significant increases in my taxes?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

[STRONGLY AGREEetd]2.17%7
SOMEWHAT AGREE6.52%21
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE13.98%45
STRONGLY DISAGREE76.09%245
REFUSED/NO OPINION1.24%4
Anwered 322
Skipped 2
Total 324

7. Which statement do you think most closely describes Governor Tom Wolf's budget proposal?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

A MODEST INCREASE IN TAXES AND SPENDING TO KEEP PACE WITH INFLATION2.19%7
MODEST INCREASES IN TAXES AND SPENDING ON KEY FUNCTIONS SUCH AS PUBLIC EDUCATION12.23%39
SIGNIFICANT INCREASES IN TAXES AND SPENDING44.51%142
BIGGEST TAX AND SPENDING INCREASE IN STATE HISTORY21.00%67
TAX AND SPENDING INCREASE GREATER THAN THAT PROPOSED IN ALL 49 OTHER STATES COMBINED14.73%47
REFUSED/NO OPINION8.15%26
Anwered 319
Skipped 5
Total 324

8. By some estimates Pennsylvania spends about $700 million a year on individual grants or tax breaks to certain companies or industries. Such grants are viewed by some as "economic development," by others as "corporate welfare."  Generally speaking do you think such grants should be:


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

ELIMINATED ENTIRELY WITH SAVINGS USED TO REDUCE TAXES FOR ALL BUSINESSES31.87%102
ELIMINATED ENTIRELY WITH SAVINGS USED TO BALANCE THE STATE BUDGET10.94%35
REDUCE, BUT NOT ELIMINATE SUCH GRANTS39.69%127
[AMOUNT SPENT ON SUCH GRANTS IS ABOUT RIGHTetd]7.19%23
MORE MONEY SHOULD BE SPENT ON SUCH GRANTS4.06%13
REFUSED/NO OPINION6.25%20
Anwered 320
Skipped 4
Total 324

9. Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has been indicted for allegedly leaking secret grand jury information to the media.   Do you think she should:


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

RESIGN39.88%128
BE IMPEACHED10.28%33
INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY, SHE SHOULD STAY IN OFFICE43.30%139
REFUSED/NO OPINION6.54%21
Anwered 321
Skipped 3
Total 324

10. If the election for President of the United States were held today, for whom would you vote?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Hillary Clinton4.44%14
Joe Biden1.59%5
Martin O'Malley0.00%0
Jim Webb0.00%0
Bernie Sanders3.81%12
John Kasich2.54%8
Bobby Jindal0.32%1
Rick Santorum0.63%2
Mike Huckabee1.90%6
Donald Trump25.71%81
Ben Carson23.17%73
Carly Fiorina7.30%23
Chris Christie3.17%10
Scott Walker6.03%19
George Pataki0.00%0
Jim Gilmore0.00%0
Rand Paul1.59%5
Marco Rubio5.08%16
Ted Cruz6.98%22
Lindsey Graham0.00%0
Jeb Bush2.86%9
Rick Perry0.00%0
Other (please specify)

1. none of the current candidates have my support at this time

2. what does this have to do with "business climate?"

3. Ronald Reagan

4. I have no idea, as the election is not being held today

5. Bernie Sanders

6. definitely not a democrat

7. Michael Israel

8. Any of the above

9. me

2.86%9
Anwered 315
Skipped 9
Total 324

Section II: Business Climate

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


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Better5.97%19
Same50.94%162
Worse42.14%134
No Opinion0.94%3
Anwered 318
Skipped 6
Total 324

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


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Better6.01%19
Same42.09%133
Worse48.73%154
No Opinion3.16%10
Anwered 316
Skipped 8
Total 324

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


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Higher14.83%47
Same61.20%194
Lower21.45%68
No Opinion2.52%8
Anwered 317
Skipped 7
Total 324

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


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Higher13.84%44
Same67.30%214
Lower16.04%51
No Opinion2.83%9
Anwered 318
Skipped 6
Total 324

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


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Increased27.13%86
Same42.59%135
Decreased28.39%90
No Opinion1.89%6
Anwered 317
Skipped 7
Total 324

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


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Increase25.24%80
Same54.26%172
Decrease17.98%57
No Opinion2.52%8
Anwered 317
Skipped 7
Total 324

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


Answer ChoicesPositiveNegativeNo OpinionTotal
President

Barack Obama

9.75%

31

88.36%

281

1.89%

6

318

Fed Chairman

Janet Yellen

21.45%

68

44.48%

141

34.07%

108

317

U.S. Senator

Pat Toomey

47.15%

149

27.53%

87

25.32%

80

316

U.S. Senator

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

15.46%

49

64.04%

203

20.50%

65

317

U.S. Treasury

Jack Lew

10.76%

34

42.09%

133

47.15%

149

316

Governor

Tom Wolf

12.34%

39

81.96%

259

5.70%

18

316

Attorney General

Kathleen Kane

7.89%

25

67.51%

214

24.61%

78

317

Auditor General

Eugene Depasquale

12.74%

40

20.06%

63

67.20%

211

314

Anwered 318
Skipped 6
Total 324

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


Answer ChoicesPositiveNegativeNo OpinionTotal
United States

Senate

9.52%

30

83.81%

264

6.67%

21

315

United States

House of Representatives

14.56%

46

80.06%

253

5.38%

17

316

Pennsylvania

Senate

30.70%

97

56.65%

179

12.66%

40

316

Pennsylvania

House of Representatives

33.65%

106

54.92%

173

11.43%

36

315

Anwered 316
Skipped 8
Total 324

19. Which category best describes your position at the business in which your work?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

OWNER79.75%252
CEO/COO/CFO14.24%45
STATE MANAGER0.32%1
LOCAL MANAGER2.22%7
REFUSED/NO OPINION0.95%3
Other (please specify)

Co-Owner

Partner

Chairman

President

President/Owner

president

All of the above due to downsizing

General Manager

Total

2.53%8
Anwered 316
Skipped 8
Total 324

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


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Northwest PA9.15%29
Southwest PA17.35%55
Northcentral PA5.36%17
Altoona/Johnstown5.68%18
Southcentral/Harrisburg21.45%68
Southeastern PA28.71%91
Lehigh Valley5.36%17
Northeastern PA6.94%22
Anwered 317
Skipped 7
Total 324

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


Answer ChoicesResponse

Count

Comments

  • We are stuck until Wolf is gone.
  • Wolfs plan to lower real estate taxes would be temporary and more money spent on schools wont make the teachers any better or the kids learn better, need to increase vouchers and let competition weed out the bad schools and teachers
  • Keep the flat individual income tax rate--and at the present rate.
  • It's hard to justify the investment in equipment and people knowing your return in profit will be minimized from all those who think they deserve to have a piece of it.
  • We need to start running our State and Federal Gov. as a Business. Capitalism not Socialism !
  • An extraction fee, similar to those in Ohio, Texas and Alaska should be implemented in Pennsylvania - the gas isn't going anywhere, so a reasonable fee for taking the Commonwealth's resource seems totally reasonable and, if used appropriately, quite beneficial to the overall economic condition of Pennsylvania.
  • We need more incentives toward alternative energies (solar and wind) Fracking is ruining our roads and water supplies and water table. Mountain topping is also so destructive. Energy and Education concerns frighten me about the future of our country and our state. We cannot let greed and negative politics sink our ship. We have to act now. Also need to consider some sort of gun control, not for those that hunt but for the automatic weapons and other guns that are so easily attainable and abused when in the wrong hands.
  • The Wolf administration is creating an anti-business climate in PA. His refusal to deal with the horrible pension fiasco is reprehensible. Everyone is tired of party grid lock, both parties are guilty of that. Each day politicians and legislatures at the local, state, and federal levels continue to lose the confidence of the people. They are self serving and disgraceful and we need term limitations at all levels and all positions.
  • This survey seems more like a political survey. The war on coal/energy/industry continues to be a disaster for PA business and will get worse Obamacare is only beginning to destroy the economy of PA
  • Gov Wolf needs to start acting like a governor, not a dictator, and be willing to work with the House and Senate, and not lie about all the 'numbers' he is always talking about. It seems his target is to destroy the Gas Industry in this state, which has in turn already hurt the economic growth in this state.
  • Need government to stop increasing regulations
  • Yes the state's pension system needs reformed, but the schools also need reasonable funding NOW.
  • Regulation after regulation from all aspects has totally doomed our industry .
  • Get politicians and government regulations out of the way, and see what we can do with guidelines instead of government micro management.
  • IT SEEMS THAT THERE IS THINGS IN PLACE TO HOLD BACK THE VERY SMALL BUSINESS TO GROW. LARGER BUSINESS HAS MORE OPPORTUNITY TO GROW.
  • Too many federal regulations regarding construction and site development for industry and residential.
  • There is a lot of pent-up inflation. Everyone believes they need to raise prices but most feel the economic conditions won't support it. It is a bubble that is going to burst.
  • The business climate in Pennsylvania is becoming increasingly harsh due to a combination of being taxed and regulated out of business and being forced to pay far too much for health care.
  • Not enough information about grants to answer. I know most states do it. Does it bring business to PA?
  • Due to lack of action passing 76, I have sold my house today and will be selling my business location and relocating myself and my jobs to either FL or TX shortly
  • Despite over regulation and taxation, my business has done very well over the past five years. Our outlook is also excellent for 2016. We have learned to adapt to this mess.
  • Too many regulations, beauracracy, taxes. Why should I continue to risk capital and my time?
  • If we reduced business taxes to below 5%, we could eliminate grants and create more jobs by attracting more companies to PA. Wolfe is 100% correct here.
  • As a manufacturer of protective packaging we sell over 80% of our products out of state.
  • Too few ants are paying for too many grasshoppers
  • Tax reform is necessary. School taxes have become to high. Home owners cant afford to spend money on their property. Let the renters and cash business owners help educate our children, NOT just the the home owners. I am highly in favor of raising sales tax to eliminate the unconstitutional school tax.
  • We sell to the electronic industry. Large businesses have been moving out of PA for years. PA needs help to attract industry.
  • reduce regulation, and let free market decide the winner in the market.
  • Public employee pensions are way too costly for taxpayers. The private sector has moved from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans because they are less expensive, and fewer variables to have to worry about. They need to do the same for public employees. Cannot afford the current pension plans we have.
  • Let's get this budget passed. Spend some money on education &infrastructure. Get Pension reform done. Privatize the liquor stores.
  • Wastful spendthrifs in the Pennsylvania House and Senate,and an Evecutive that continues to submit a Tax policy conducive to creating an environment that will attract NEW BUSINESSES.
  • Pennsylvania tries to bribe new businesses with tax and regulatory breaks while punishing established businesses with the highest net income tax in the nation. It's no wonder we're a net loser in the segments that really matter to a growing economy.
  • Seven years of the OBAMA administration has destroyed businesses and the American dream ... but we'll be back stronger and smarter than ever - I PRAY!!!
  • My company is in the technology sector, and compliance rules around the usage of independent contractors (willing "free agents") are too restrictive and impact my company's ability to best serve the marketplace.
  • State needs to become a "Right to Work State" and lower corporate taxes . Increase sales taxes and room tax charged to visitors. Pa is not a Business friendly state.
  • Cut taxes and spending at all levels of government and work on increasing Liberty in our country.
  • For a small business to survive is nearly impossible in this state. I get no help here but I have managed to make it on my own.
  • We're looking to get out of PA as soon as possible. Business and living conditions are poor here compared to other parts of the country.
  • There are plenty of room to increase business opportunities in PA. Many other States mention in the Request for Proposal for State project that States companies are preferred, except PA.
  • State Pension Reform FIRST and all else will fall into place!
  • It is poor with the state and local govenments always focused on the next shiny object. No focus on strong sustainable growth.
  • The survey would be more credible if the questions did not lead so much.
  • Small business is getting by, but because we are creating options. The Fracking industry and other big companies in this state get far more advantages, while not paying taxes. Pat Toomey represents his special interests, and GOP, not his constituents. His refusal to evaluate and judge new spending options is a big part of Senate gridlock.
  • Why do we give an out of state co. and large grant
  • our state individual and corporate taxes are too high and many businesses do not locate in PA and some residents are moving away to states with lower taxes - tax cuts put more money in the economy which gets spent and increases the economy leading to higher employment and everyone benefits and their quality of life gets better - why do democrats not understand this????
  • We are regulated to death! I have been in business over 45 years. The money we have to waste on stupid government regs, like wearing plastic gloves to prepare food! You cannot legislate clean! Having to have more than one architech or engineer stamp the same print, requiring maps from these professionals, at great expense that noone looks at! Requiring business to know the manuel for each government bureau! I could go on and on with the waste that I see daily!
  • we need total change of our govt officials
  • As long as Wolf is governor we are going down!
  • Don't weaken Legislature.
  • Our Legislators need to make something happen!!!!
  • The Pa senate and house should have sold off the palcb when we had Gov. Corbet What happened
  • Very frustrated! No budget, V-high school taxes, Lazy people, welfare fraud, high workers comp, More regulations. I enjoy working, but Will be damn glad to quit after 40 years of self-employed.
  • Government MUST live within means. We need NEW leadership in the US senate, US House, and White House. Must stop illegal immigration. If these issues are not resolved very soon there will be no economy to speak of.
  • stalled and will decline
  • We really need to cut business taxes back to 0 and obtain all revenues through consumption taxes (sales tax revenues). That would eliminate hidden taxes and make taxes easier to file. It would also keep the government more accountable because tax revenue expenditures would be up front and in the open.
  • if they cant do there job they need to be fired (Pass the dam budget)
  • get rid of the Johnstown flood tax!!!
  • The energy industry companies who were providing jobs and revenue in our area are being run out by poor legislation passed in our state. The State Congress needs to continue fighting Gov Wolfe and not bend to his ridiculous budget demands. They also need to somehow counter his publicity campaign that is blaming them.
  • The government can tell us anything they want about business climate but here in the ne Pa. where jobs are scarce , unless you want to work at WalMart, our customer base does not have any money with which to improve their lives which reflects on our business.
  • The State pension crisis is a significant problem and needs addressed in a way that reduces the obligation in order to improve the business climate.
  • The gov't has to stop being the "enabler" to people addicted to doing nothing. ...I'm tired of the government wasting my tax dollars on people do nothing but wait around for a check while are country is literally falling apart! !!!!@
  • Generally Pennsylvania and the Federal Government do not care about my business, just what I can provide, on the house, for them and their friends.
  • PA school systems needs to have a major overhaul. Someone other than the local board needs to control their spending. It is out of hand they raise taxes every year.
  • PA Dept of revenue is conducting audits to reclassify construction subcontractors as temporary help. Our recent audit has convinced me to close once audit is concluded. Thanks PA.
  • Balance the budget. Do something about property taxes
  • The State must decrease the public employees pension system, including all of the public school teachers. Public employees are paid above the private sector. They get pay increases when the working person in the private sector is not receiving these increases. The pension dollar amounts for Public employees far outpace anything in the private sector. Remember, most private sector employees do not have a pension at all. And if they do, they have to contribute to it. The state is not going to have a responsible budget until the pension system is brought under control. The non public sector worker/taxpayer is being treated unfairly. This can not go on forever.
  • Sales are decreasing, but costs increasing. How is a small business to survive?!?!?!?
  • fragile - handle with care. raising taxes is not the answer and businesses not the government can handle the investments
  • Pa.must become a Right To Work State to see any real improvement in the business climate. Privatize Penn Dot, State Stores, and any other business that can be done by the private sector far better and less expensive.
  • OUR GOVERNMENT IS IN SAD SHAP HAS NO IDEA WHAT THE VOTERS WANT. THEY ARE ONLY CONCERNED ABOUT WHO GETS ELECTED.
  • Overall climate for new business is bleak at best, tragic at worst
  • Tom Wolfe is not the person to get this done !!!!!
  • PA Needs to eliminate the Sales Tax Discount. It only help the LARGE RETAILERS (Corp. Welfare)! NFIB should stop defending this nonsense.
  • Property Taxes are far too high, in some cases are the same or more than the mortgage. Example York City house valued at $250k, property taxes are $15k/year. This is unacceptable! School districts should not have the power to tax residents out of their homes.
  • The PA Pension Deficit has to be addressed. State spending continues with no end in sight.
  • We need less government and more substance. Need to have term limited for all politicians
  • Taxes are too high and regulations too restrictive. Lower taxes and regulation would increase economic growth, prosperity and opportunity in Pa.
  • If Tom Wolf gets what he wants including raising minimum wage to over $10 per hour and taxing all services including health club memberships, this will have a devastatingly negative effect on my business. Tom Wolf's budget was ridiculous and displayed a very short-sighted "money grab" proposal. PA has a unique set of challenges adopted and inherited from past administrations and I feel very lucky that Republican State house and senate has slowed the Governors path over the fiscal cliff.
  • Our business climate has never been this bad, in the 23 years I have been in business.
  • get it together and do what you are being paid and elected to do!!!!
80
Anwered80
Skipped244
Total324