Chamber Coalition Urges Congressional Delegation to Reject Federal Tax Hike Proposal

A letter to Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation that was spearheaded by the PA Chamber and signed by local chambers, including The Columbia Montour Chamber, and business groups this week has urged a resounding rejection of the Biden administration’s recently unveiled plans to impose anti-business tax hikes on the Commonwealth’s private sector.

Most notably contained in the massive $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill is a proposed increase in the federal corporate tax rate, from 21 percent to 26.5 percent. Combined with Pennsylvania’s already uncompetitive CNI rate of 9.99 percent (the second highest in the nation), this would put the rate paid by the Commonwealth’s employers at a staggering 36.49 percent – much higher than China’s rate of 25 percent and the average European Union rate of 21 percent.  As a matter of simple economics, this change would greatly harm Pennsylvania businesses’ ability to compete at home and abroad, and serves as a major deterrent for would-be investors when they’re considering where to locate and hire.

Other alarming components of the Biden administration’s tax reform proposal that the letter addresses as it pertains to Pennsylvania include:

  • Changes to the Global Intangible Low-Tax income tax, which would lead to higher taxes for many PA-based companies and, when combined with the federal rate, would detract investment in the Commonwealth;
  • A number of significant tax increases on the pass-through business sector, which when coupled with Pennsylvania’s income tax would lead to a more than 40 percent hike on taxable income for employers statewide;
  • Raising the Capital Gains Tax to 25 percent, which would affect approximately two-thirds of capital investment in the U.S. and could dampen investments in Pennsylvania start-ups and hurt Pennsylvania families as they look to retire or buy a new home.

As expressed in the letter, there is widespread agreement among Pennsylvania’s broad-based business community that the measures contained in the reconciliation bill would hurt Pennsylvania businesses, employees, and consumers at the same time that communities statewide are struggling to emerge from the ongoing financial and workforce challenges imposed by the pandemic.

“Pennsylvania businesses are at a critical juncture as we attempt to survive and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the signatories wrote. “We ask that you move our economy in the right direction by opposing these job-killing tax hikes that threaten to derail our economic recovery.”

A U.S. Chamber column that considers the impact of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill on the nation’s private sector can be found here.

Bloomsburg Town Council Candidates to Share Views at Public Forum

Candidates for Bloomsburg Town Council will share their views during an upcoming candidate forum being co-hosted by Downtown Bloomsburg Inc. and Bloomsburg University’s American Democracy Project. The five candidates that received the most votes in the primary are being invited to participate. The forum will be held Tuesday, October 12th at 7:00 p.m. in the McCormick Center for Human Services on the B.U. campus, room 1303.

Incumbents Bonnie Crawford (D) and James Garman (D) along with challengers Eric Bower (R), Nicholas McGaw (D), and Janine Penman (R) are vying for three seats. 

The Mayor’s seat will also be on the November ballot but Council member Justin Hummel received more votes on both the Republican and Democratic tickets in the primary than incumbent Mayor Bill Kreisher. Those two candidates participated in a forum in the Spring. Audio from that event is available at

The format will be a modified debate. Each candidate will be presented with the same questions in rotating order with a set amount of time for each response. A limited number of questions from the in-person audience will also be presented. Candidates will also be given two minutes for closing remarks. 

The public is invited to attend the event, which will also be streamed on the Chamber of Commerce’s YouTube channel.  Parking will be available immediately behind the McCormick Center

Chamber Publication Highlights Area Products, Services, and Communities

The Chamber of Commerce’s printed Membership Directory is designed to be a resource for area businesspeople and residents, as well as visitors and people considering moving to the area. The publication provides contact information for hundreds of businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations, as well as statistics and amenities for Columbia and Montour counties. The 2021-22 edition of the Membership Directory is now available free of charge.

Copies can be picked up at The Chamber of Commerce office at 238 Market Street, Bloomsburg between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Any local organization that would like multiple copies for their staff and/or customers should call the Chamber at 570-784-2522. The publication is also mailed to individuals interested in the area.

Member News – September 29, 2021

Knoebels Receives Golden Ticket Award 

Knoebels Amusement Resort was honored with a AmusementTODAY’s Golden Ticket award. Knoebels was ranked as the 4th best park in the world; 1st for best food of 2021; and 2nd for best overall guest experience. Click here for more on the award.

McKonly & Asbury’s Own Named to Central Pa’s Forty Under 40

McKonly & Asbury is proud to announce that Principal, Charles Eisenhart has been named one of Central PA’s Forty Under 40 by the Central Penn Business Journal. The Forty Under 40 program recognizes forty professionals under the age of 40 based on professional accomplishments, community service and commitment to inspiring change. Click here for the full list.

Community Giving Foundation: Alex Wagner Football Fund

Alex Charles Wagner, 23, passed away suddenly at his home in August 2021. Alex was a graduate of Central Columbia High School in Bloomsburg, PA, where he loved serving as the equipment manager for the Blue Jay’s football team. . In his memory, family and friends have established the Alex Wagner’s Football Fund to provide charitable grants to the Central Columbia School District to support the football team with equipment and supplies that benefit player safety, learning, and experience. Contributions can be made to the Alex Wagner’s Football Fund online at (click Donate and search “Wagner”), or mail to the Community Giving Foundation, Attn: Alex Wagner’s Football Fund, 725 West Front Street, Berwick PA 18603. The designated fund will provide grants to Central Columbia to support the football team with equipment and supplies that benefit player safety, learning and experience.

SEDA-COG Welcomes Three New Staff Members

SEDA-COG recently welcomed three new staff members in the community development program. Aaron Crawford joined the Community Development staff as a program analyst. Susan Martin was hired as a program assistant and Nadine Simpson joined the community development program as a program assistant. SEDA-COG is a community and economic development agency in Lewisburg and is one of seven Local Development Districts in Pennsylvania.  SEDA-COG enhances the quality of life and economic advantage for residents and businesses in the 11 central Pennsylvania counties through its vital partnerships and initiatives.

Community Giving Foundation Announces Columbia County Commissioners Nonprofit Relief Grantround

Community Giving Foundation is administering the Nonprofit Relief Grantround in partnership with the Columbia County Commissioners. This grantround will provide qualifying nonprofit and government agencies a unique opportunity to assist in covering their organization’s operating, programmatic, and/or capital budgets impacted by COVID. Other COVID-related grant funding received will not be a determinant of eligibility for this grantround.

The Columbia County Commissioners ARP Nonprofit Relief Grantround has $500,000 available. The grantround will begin on October 1. Grant requests up to $25,000 are being accepted online until the application deadline of October 28. Additional funding may be considered on an individual basis. Upon review by the Community Giving Foundation Grants Committee and County Commissioners, grants will be awarded by November 30.

The grantround is designed as a flexible response to provide relief for a variety of unexpected costs. The Foundation is specifically interested in helping organizations maintain their operations and respond to increased demands.

Only 501(c)(3) nonprofit and government organizations are eligible to apply and the requested funding must be invested within Columbia County. Individuals are not eligible to apply. To discuss your organization’s eligibility, please contact the Foundation.

Grant applications must be completed and submitted through a web-based program. Interested applicants can access the grantround guidelines and applications by visiting Grant requests must be submitted online by 11:45 pm on Thursday, October 28, 2021.

For grant-related questions, please contact Christine Orlando, Senior Program Officer, at 570-752-3930 ext. 2, or [email protected]