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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

Spring 2016 Business Climate Survey

Response Summary


by Lincoln Institute
 

Response Summary

Total Started Survey: 367

Total Finished Survey: 367  (100.0%)

Section I: Issues

1. Has your business been harmed in any way by the ongoing state budget impasse?

YES


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
30.33%111
NO61.75%226
REFUSED/NO OPINION7.92%29
Answered366
Skipped1

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


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE1.64%6
SOMEWHAT IMPROVE5.75%21
SOMEWHAT HARM20.00%73
SIGNIFICANTLY HARM64.93%237
REFUSED/NO OPINION7.67%28
Answered365
Skipped2

3. Governor Tom Wolf claims the state has a "structural budget deficit" of over $1 billion dollars. Assuming that is correct, should the state:


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
CUT SPENDING TO MATCH REVENUE77.13%280
MAINTAIN CURRENT SPENDING LEVELS AND RAISE TAXES TO COVER THE DEFICIT 0.83%3
INCREASE SPENDING AND INCREASE TAXES TO COVER BOTH THE DEFICIT AND HIGHER SPENDING1.10%4
COMBINE SPENDING CUTS AND TAX HIKES TO BALANCE THE BUDGET17.91%65
REFUSED/NO OPINION3.03%11
Answered363
Skipped4

4. As part of his budget proposal, Governor Tom Wolf has included an 11% increase in the state income tax for all individuals and businesses.  Do you SUPPORT or OPPOSE this proposal?


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
STRONGLY SUPPORT1.64%6
SOMEWHAT SUPPORT3.84%14
SOMEWHAT OPPOSE9.86%36
STRONGLY OPPOSE84.38%308
REFUSED/NO OPINION0.27%1
Answered365
Skipped2

5. Would you SUPPORT or OPPOSE an increase in the state's 6% sales tax to help balance the state budget?


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
STRONGLY SUPPORT5.51%20
SOMEWHAT SUPPORT19.83%72
SOMEWHAT OPPOSE18.18%66
STRONGLY OPPOSE55.10%200
REFUSED/NO OPINION1.38%5
Answered363
Skipped4

6. Would you SUPPORT or OPPOSE an increase in the state's Corporate Net Income Tax to help balance the state budget?


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
STRONGLY SUPPORT1.375
SOMEWHAT SUPPORT4.93%18
SOMEWHAT OPPOSE14.25%52
STRONGLY OPPOSE75.89%277
REFUSED/NO OPINION3.56%13
Answered365
Skipped2

7. Do you think it is appropriate/constitutional for the Governor to spend state tax dollars on line items that have not yet been approved by the legislature?


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
YES4.95%18
NO88.74%323
REFUSED/NO ANSWER6.32%23
Answered364
Skipped3

8. 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 ChoicesPercentagesResponses
STRONGLY AGREE2.47%9
SOMEWHAT AGREE6.32%23
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE9.07%33
STRONGLY DISAGREE80.2%292
REFUSED/NO OPINION1.92%7
Answered364
Skipped3

9. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is considering impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Kathleen Kane. Kane is under indictment for allegedly leaking Grand Jury information and has announced she will not see re-election this November. Should the General Assembly:


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
CONTINUE WITH IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS41.32%150
DROP IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS AND LET HER TERM EXPIRE49.86%181
REFUSED/NO OPINION8.82%32
Answered363
Skipped4

10. The Pennsylvania General Assembly is considering the legalization of MEDICAL marijuana. Do you SUPPORT or OPPOSE the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes?


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
STRONGLY SUPPORT28.85%105
SOMEWHAT SUPPORT33.79%123
SOMEWHAT OPPOSE15.11%55
STRONGLY OPPOSE15.93%58
REFUSED/NO OPINION6.32%23
Answered364
Skipped3

11. By executive order, Governor Tom Wolf has raised the minimum wage for state employees to $10.15 per hour. Do you SUPPORT or OPPOSE raising the minimum wage for PRIVATE SECTOR employees that level?


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
STRONGLY SUPPORT6.04%22
SOMEWHAT SUPPORT11.26%41
SOMEWHAT OPPOSE19.51%71
STRONGLY OPPOSE61.26%223
REFUSED/NO OPINION1.92%7
Answered364
Skipped3

12. If you are a registered REPUBLICAN and the primary election for Pennsylvania Attorney General were held today, would you vote to nominate:


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
JOHN RAFFERTY8.33%29
JOE PETERS5.75%20
REFUSED/NO OPINION85.92%299
Answered348
Skipped19

13. If you are a registered DEMOCRAT and the primary election for Pennsylvania Attorney General were held today, would you vote to nominate:


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
JOSH SHAPIRO1.95%5
STEVE ZAPPALA5.47%14
JOHN MORGANELLI3.91%10
REFUSED/NO OPINION88.67%227
Answered256
Skipped111

14. If you are a registered DEMOCRAT and the primary election for United States Senator were held today, would you vote to nominate:


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
JOE SESTAK7.57%19
KATIE MCGINTY2.79%7
JOHN FEATHERMAN4.38%11
REFUSED/NO ANSWER85.26%214
Answered251
Skipped116

Section II: Business Climate

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


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
Better5.68%20
Same39.49%139
Worse53.41%188
No Opinion1.42%5
Answered352
Skipped15

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


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
Better7.93%28
Same40.79%144
Worse46.74%165
No Opinion4.53%16
Answered353
Skipped14

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


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
Higher8.81%31
Same66.19%233
Lower22.16%78
No Opinion2.84%10
Answered352
Skipped15

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


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
Higher14.57%51
Same67.43%236
Lower15.14%53
No Opinion2.86%10
Answered350
Skipped17

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


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
Increased18.18%64
Same41.19%145
Decreased38.92%137
No Opinion1.70%6
Answered352
Skipped15

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


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
Increase27.20%96
Same54.96%194
Decrease14.73%52
No Opinion3.12%11
Answered353
Skipped14

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


IndividualPositiveNegativeNo OpinionTotal
President

Barack Obama

8.81%

31

87.50%

308

3.69%

13

352
Fed Chairman

Janet Yellen

17.61%

62

44.32%

156

38.07%

134

352
U.S. Senator

Pat Toomey

47.86%

168

23.65%

83

28.49%

100

351
U.S. Senator

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

14.45%

51

55.52%

196

30.03%

106

353
U.S. Treasury Secretary

Jack Lew

5.41%

19

38.75%

136

55.84%

196

351
Governor

Tom Wolf

5.40%

19

89.49%

315

5.11%

18

352
Attorney General

Kathleen Kane

9.92%

35

74.50%

263

15.58%

55

353
Auditor General

Eugene Depasquale

15.14%

53

17.14%

60

67.71%

237

350
State Treasurer

Tim Reese

7.71%

27

16.86%

59

75.43%

264

350
Answered353
Skipped14

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


InstitutionPositiveNegativeNo OpinionTotal
United States Senate11.97%

42

77.49%

272

10.54%

37

351
United States House of Representatives17.85%

63

72.24%

255

9.92%

35

353
Pennsylvania Senate36.83%

130

51.27%

181

11.90%

42

353
Pennsylvania House of Representatives38.81%

137

50.71%

179

10.48%

37

353
Answered353
Skipped14

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


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
OWNER84.14%297
CEO/COO/CFO13.03%46
STATE MANAGER0.57%2
LOCAL MANAGER1.13%4
NO ANSWER/REFUSED0.85%3
Other (Office Staff)0.28%1
Answered353
Skipped14

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


Answer ChoicesPercentagesResponses
Northwest PA9.63%34
Southwest PA17.28%61
Northcentral PA8.22%29
Altoona/Johnstown3.68%13
Southcentral/Harrisburg20.11%71
Southeastern PA25.21%89
Lehigh Valley5.95%21
Northeastern PA9.92%35
Answered353
Skipped14

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


Responses

  • It is getting harder and harder every day to keep up with all the regulations, paper-work etc. More time needs to be spent in the office wasting money and time instead of actually working the business to increase income and wages for employees.
  • Other PA businesses may be having problems but our detailing car/truck business has steadily increased in the last 5 years.
  • Businesses are completely over taxed!
  • Raising minimum wage will close my store. The gas industry left so did jobs and business for my store. Very high unemployment in Bradford County. I blame Wolf for chasing the gas industry out of state and holding up pipeline permits.
  • Restrict the right to vote to include only those who pay more in taxes than they consume in government services.
  • Do away with the lobbying groups, do away with all the perks, accept only individual donations, no corporate, institute TERM LIMITS, them maybe we can get some fairness in government for the average citizen
  • Pennsylvania has become a anti-business State
  • If state cant pass budget, all elected officials should have thier wages suspended, until passed,and not reimbursed.
  • The last six months have been tough! The first half of last year was much better then the fall came and things fell apart.
  • TOO MANY REGULATIONS! PA DEP is UNBEARABLE! EPA is Wrecking Business! Banks are TOO BIG! Too many USA Businesses are OWNED By Foreigners!
  • When one is a small business, sometimes it is difficult to have time to be informed about all the governments' doings that affect small business....We do not have committees.....lawyers.....to keep tabs on all....publications and organizations help....but..it is still very difficult.
  • We cater to the coal industry in PA. Needless to say, our work has slowed considerably.
  • Unrelated to business climate. In your question regarding senate candidates. You have John Fetterman's name spelled wrong.
  • Our politicians need to play together in a much better way.
  • PA welfare benefits attract people from other states since it covers more than their states. It needs to be changed. PA needs more trained people not welfare recipients.
  • Small business need help to survive! Until we pay all of our taxes payroll, real estate, quarterly taxes, high utility bills, insurances there is nothing left!!!! Raise sales tax so everyone has to pay lower property taxes. That would be a huge help.
  • Wolf and Obama have effectively killed most business related to gas and coal in our area. Businesses have moved out and lots of employees have been laid off.
  • If the sales tax is raised to 11% people will purchase goods online and many small business will go bankrupt then the state will have less income from sales tax
  • Pa. Should reduce the size of it's legislature, and we do not need a vice governor.
  • Gov of Pa. and Mayor of Phila should look to cut needless government jobs which includes the Phila school system
  • As usual, if the government looked to spend our dollars in the best manner instead of the BIGGEST manner, more could be done for the same or less money. Governor Wolf should refrain from taking a paycheck until he completes his job on the budget.
  • without coal and natural gas business, western pa.is sinking very very fast! thanks to pres.obama and gov. tom wolfe.

  • We sell nationally, been right here since 1932, hope to stay so my partners (Sons and Wives) can enjoy the success I had for 45 years.
  • Big gov't is inherently inefficient. They add more taxes yet can't control spending. They add more regulation(s) while failing to enforce existing regulation. Self-perpetuated waste.
  • Wolf, over the best intentions of legislature, will drive more small/medium businesses to close or move out of state. Very Bad for PA!!!!!
  • I own a vape shop in Hamburg, PA and we are currently looking to expand to a second location in Wyomissing, PA. We are still being threaten by PA Legislators to tax vape shops at 40% and US Legislators to completely shutdown our industry. I would like more feedback as to what NFIB is doing if anything to protect all small business vape shops?
  • Right now am sick of the politicians with hands in the cookie jar. Have forgotten they are to represent us, not themselves!
  • Pennsylvania does NOT need higher taxes. We need to cut spending and pass a budget based upon current taxation rates and realistic revenue projections. Governor Wolf needs to accept his duty to govern this state responsibly.
  • Pa has become an Anti-Business State.
  • It's a circle, raise taxes and wages and cost go up. why is that so hard to figure out.
  • School tax's are killing everyone. Way to many regulations and zoning. This state is all about killing its small businesses'. politician's are sucking the life out of Pa..
  • Pennsylvania now has the highest state diesel fuel and gasoline taxes in the nation with nothing to show for it. Unless you consider the fact that we have the most structurally deficient bridges in the nation by far. I might add that this can be traced back to former Governor and paid toll road lobbyist, Ed Rendell.
  • Wolf should be impeached
  • High taxes. Inefficient and burdensome regulations and bureaucracy.
  • Both political parties are missing in action!
  • PA Corporate Tax rates are the highest in the world! Need to come down!
  • Teachers are part time workers earning full time wages and benefits which are bankrupting this state. It's never "Money for Education." It's "Money to Increase Teacher's Benefits and Pay." Cut teacher salaries to balance the budget.
  • rich spoiled baby governor needs impeached
  • Our business is somewhat weather driven and no snow and warmer temperatures has hurt our business. This has more to do with business than taxes or government influence
  • Southeastern Pennsylvania is fortunate to be near Maryland and New Jersey- high tax, business unfriendly states. Compared to these states, our situation looks good. That comparison masks many of the ills and serious issues that PA faces.
  • I want to explain the dichotomy between "business climate" and my Company's realized and anticipated increases in revenue. While I expect my Company's sales to increase, it will be due to adding a variety of additional services to our portfolio. However, in terms of the business climate, the Federal government has been consistent in their degradation of the economy and Pennsylvania, unlike Maryland, has been unable to figure out how to curtail spending without threatened tax increases. Mr. Wolf believes that he has some mandate to tax-and-spend and seems unwilling to consider alternatives. So the "business climate" has gotten worse, but our business is willing to diversify our portfolio of revenue streams to insulate us from the governmentally imposed storminess.
  • As a business, I can only operate according to the money coming in. Government has taken to operating over the income, and spending income years in advance of it coming in. That's not doing the job they were elected for, and is incompetent. Now the gravy train is stopping, they want us to pony up the difference, so they can continue. 1 word- Bullshit! Do your job- or resign!
  • Business is trending downward. Few are interested in investing/purchasing during tax season (until it is known if one owes/gets refund). Combined with the uncertainty of NO state budget from LAST YEAR, and the unprecedented contentious (read: ridiculous!) pre-election climate, situataion not likely to improve during these multiple stalemates. Gov. Wolf has a nerve even considering 2016/17 budget when the current fiscal year's is nearly a YEAR past due. Gov Legislature always act surprised that the budget is due before July 1. How come there's always money to pay those folks, but social service agencies, schools, etc. have no idea how they are going to meet the next payroll? Unfunded mandates are the height of stupidity. If the law was made to cause this, a law can be made to un-do it. Now...who has the kahunas to DO IT? Oh wait, none of them wants to live like the rest of us mere mortals.
  • The governor needs to get off his high horse and pass the balanced budget put before him multiple times. It is affecting schools and other state agencies tremendously.
  • The business climate has been stagnant for the past 8 years. I don't see any positive change in the future!
  • The PA State Government is an impediment to small business growth. Too much useless regulation.
  • I believe Tom Wolf is the worst governor this state has seen in decades. He has worsened conditions for businesses as well as individuals and doesn't seem to care who is hurt by his policies and his bullheadedness.
  • Governor is worse thing to happen to the people and businesses of PA in my lifetime.
  • Following up with The Tax questions. I would be in favor of a sales tax increase "Only" if it would eliminate the State Property Tax. Also Public Pensions need to be eliminated!
  • Too many laws, regulations. Too much government spending. The government has to get out of the way. Stop designating companies as women or minority owned.
  • i give my representation in the state government credit for not giving in to this so called governor we have. we also need to reel in the reins on the DEP so that maybe we can go back to work in the oil and gas field.
  • Significantly better climate than 2008.
  • washington DC needs to be completely make over. Term Limits. Only people with business and or military experience should be qualified to hold office. And there needs to have a law in which anyone holding office does not have more net worth when leaving office then when they started. Only adjusted for inflation.
  • Reforms needed, not tax increases across the board! Individual income tax code needs entire overhaul - it is a gross income tax, not a net income tax like 49 other states! Workmen's compensation and unemployment compensation need to be reformed and rid of fraud and noncompliance. State sales tax on services should be enforced at a minimum, repealed in its entirety. All of these affect businesses, their employees, and customers.
  • Tell our politicians to balance their books ! We have to balance our books every year or else pay the price of going out of business. Enough is enough. They know how to take ,they don't know how to make ! Making it creates jobs! Manufacturing is the key to your door concerning the states financial problems. Tom Wolf couldn't even run his own private business. What makes you think he can run the states business? He will be 4 and out. A lot of Pa. business owners wish sooner .
  • minimum government / maximum freedom
  • Manufacturing has been in a steady decline since 2009!!!
  • Raising taxes and not trimming the fat is unacceptable. We are to the brink. You don't have enough space for me to vent what I feel as a taxpayer and a citizen. I dislike all professional politicians. They don't work for me they work for special interests and what would line their pockets. I notice that their paychecks and benefits have not stopped and unnecessary trips and not voting a budget in. They should not leave Harrisburg until the budget is passed. If I ran my business the way Federal, state and local do, I would be out of business.
  • clean up the corruption within our state budget. Bring solutions that create a friendlier business environment. Focus efforts on infrastructure needs.
  • Pennsylvanian's are stuck with a legislature that is three times the size it should be and as long as tax payers have to feed this monster we the people of PA. are fucked
  • state has not solved pension problem and continue to pass on problem which means higher taxes for next generation
  • If the Governor passes taxes on business services, I will either close my business or more to another state that is more tax friendly. I will not be able to compete with out-of-state companies with a business services tax.
  • Since 2008 business climate has been up and down with general up direction. We need to put money into infrastructure to attack new business to Pa. We should not be using gasoline user tax to pay for State Police.
  • Harrisburg procurement should stop awarding contracts to just one company for the entire state. They should go back to competitive bidding so several companies can provide services. The Medical Staffing contract that MHM was awarded is too large for them and they are failing. Other companies should be able to provide this service too.
  • Those who voted for T. Wolf, What's he doing for you now?
  • Funding government is simple. Decide the services government is committed to provide. Fund them looking forward 10-25 years. Run the programs intelligently and at best efficiency. And, it costs what it costs. During good economies Build reserves and gain efficiencies. During recessions spend reserves and the clans social programs to prime the pump. The Ridge, Rendell and Corbett administrations failed miserably. Wolfe's budget plan is sound and necessary. We have to bite the bullet. And although I stated a preference for Sestaj, I am not registered to any party.
  • cut spending and lower taxes. term limits
  • Pennsylvania has a unique opportunity to improve its competitiveness through innovative tax reform, efficiencies and privatization initiatives. We need a governor who actually knows how to run a business, not one who merely owned one.
  • I believe that we must make adjustments in the way retirement benefits are funded for all State employees. All new public employees should be compensated fairly and then counseled on retirement investment (possibly mandatory?). We have too long seen inequity in the benefits of public employees vs. the private sector for equivalent work.
  • Corporate income taxes need to be reduced to discourage businesses from leaving PA.
  • Poor in comparison to most other states we work, particularly worse that Delaware and Ohio
  • The House and the Governor are intractable : Collectively, a very disappointing performance. Fortunately, industry seems to be working well despite them and we are healthy as a result. Kane is a needless distraction, let her go and focus on what is important, the budget and a better business climate (lower corporate income tax in order to attract more business to PA). Raise the sales tax and or apply it to currently exempt items: big consumers pay more, that is ok, we can afford to.
  • Governor Wolf should take a look at Ohio, grow N.Y. and implement the same policies that Governor Kascik implemented. The only thing that Democratics know how to do is raise taxes, and I am, a register democrat.
  • The continued tax burden is ridiculous. We are now the second highest fuel tax in the US and the additional $ isn't going to what it was intended. Wolf's increase of minimum wage for State workers is probably a smoke screen, what % actually make less than the $10.15 now?? Overall dissatisfied with all government, they make and spend too much and don't get anything accomplished. If I did the same thing in my business I would NOT BE IN Business.
  • Political gridlock stifles the economy. PA needs open primaries, pension reform, and recall to improve the climate for businesses and citizens.
  • If you all would not WASTE our tax money we would be in good shape! First you need to get all your waste under control. Government should NEVER EVER have a deficit. This is for starters, the rest will fall into place when you operate without a deficit. Key word for you to focus on is only one. That is ..... WASTE you are creating every minute of your day!!!
  • Pennsylvania has a negative business/work enviroment due to organized labor, bloated number of legislators and poorly managed education system. Our company does business nationwide and it is easy to see what states are doing well and how Pennsylvania is lacking in growth.
  • We need to decrease the size of government and get it out of our lives
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