Pennsylvania’s corporate income tax has the second highest rate in the country, at 9.99 percent. When added to the federal corporate tax, state corporations face a top marginal rate of 44.99 percent, putting businesses at a disadvantage and discouraging new businesses from moving here. This panel will focus on necessary reforms to the business tax structure and what steps can be taken to achieve them.
November 20, 1:00pm – 2:30pm
Location: Bodek Hall
President & CEO
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry
Gene Barr is the president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the state’s largest broad-based business advocacy association. He oversees all operations of the PA Chamber and its for-profit subsidiary, PA Chamber Insurance.
Barr joined the PA Chamber in February 2003. He served for more than eight years as Vice President of Government and Public Affairs prior to being elected President in October 2011. During his tenure, Barr has worked on a large number of significant legislative and regulatory efforts critical to Pennsylvania’s business climate.
Barr has more than 40 years of experience in various facets of government, political and public affairs activity, as well as business operations. He worked for BP America (the U.S. subsidiary of British Petroleum) for more than 12 years. His career included assignments in refining at the company’s Marcus Hook, PA refinery, retail marketing at the U.S. headquarters in Cleveland, OH, and in state government affairs in BP’s Atlanta, GA regional office, where he had responsibility for all legislative activities in six states.
In 1992, Barr joined the Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania, the state office of the American Petroleum Institute, as Associate Director. This office is responsible for all legislative, regulatory and media activity affecting the major oil companies. In 1997, he was named Executive Director of APIP.
In 2000, he joined the law firm of McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC, the largest Harrisburg-based law firm, to start a government relations practice.
Barr previously served as a local elected official in the Philadelphia area for almost 10 years. He graduated from St. Joseph’s University in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.
Barr previously served as a board member and chair of the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Board, as a board member for United Way of Pennsylvania and as a member of Gov. Tom Corbett’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission.
He is a current member of the Council of State Chambers, U. S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100, and the U.S. Chamber’s Public Affairs Committee. Barr is a member and previous chair of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council and is a member of the Early Learning Investment Commission. He is on the boards of the Foundation for Free Enterprise Education, the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation and the Bridge Foundation, and was recently appointed to the External Affairs Committee of Saint Joseph’s University. In addition, Barr serves on the board of United Way of the Capital Region, and is a board member and former chair of the National Civil War Museum. He has been a guest lecturer at the annual Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College and is a member of a number of historic preservation organizations. Barr is also the author of a non-fiction book on the American Civil War, “The Civil War Captain and His Lady” – a true “Cold Mountain” from the Northern perspective – to be published this fall.
David W. Patti
President and CEO
Pennsylvania Business Council (PBC)
David W. Patti is President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Business Council (PBC). Mr. Patti leads PBC’s three components: the Policy Roundtable, PEG PAC, and PBC Foundation. Mr. Patti brings to PBC 30 years of government, political and public affairs experience. Mr. Patti joined Pennsylvanians for Effective Government as its President and CEO in January of 2002 and is today the longest serving President of PEG PAC in the organization’s 43 year history.
Mr. Patti served in the Ridge Administration as the Chief Operating Officer of Team Pennsylvania and a Special Deputy Secretary in the Department of Community and Economic Development. Mr. Patti was the first fulltime President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council – the state’s major trade association for chemical manufacturers – representing about 80 percent of the chemical industry’s presence in Pennsylvania. He led PCIC from 1990 – 1999. During that time, Mr. Patti also served on the American Chemistry Council’s Issue Management Team and was the first national chair of the Responsible Care® Partnership Council. Mr. Patti served previously in the Senate of Pennsylvania in two roles: as the Executive Director of the Local Government Committee and as a policy analyst for economic development. In the mid-1980s, Mr. Patti served as the Communications Director of the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee. From 2000- 2002 Mr. Patti worked as an executive in an internet software firm.
He authored the whitepaper: “Syndication: A Tool for Organizational Communication and Management” presented at an international internet conference and made presentations at international environmental conferences. Mr. Patti participated in trade missions to Trinidad & Tobago and Canada.
Mr. Patti served on the Corbett Transition Team for the Department of Community and Economic Development. He was appointed by Governor Edward G. Rendell to serve on the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board and on the Governor’s Advisory Panel on the 2010 Census. Governor Tom Corbett appointed him to the Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board. Patti is a member of the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers State Advisory Board, and the Board of the Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week Foundation. Patti served for 18 years on the Board of the Berks Industrial Development Authority and was its chairman for five years.
Joseph C. Bright
Joseph C. Bright practices in the Tax Group, where he concentrates in state and local taxation. A former chief counsel of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, he has since represented hundreds of taxpayers in state and local tax planning, administrative, legislative and litigation matters.
Joe is the author of Taxation, a two-volume treatise on Pennsylvania state and local taxation published by West Group as part of Summary of Pennsylvania Jurisprudence 2d. A book review of Taxation in State Tax Notes described the first edition of the treatise as the leading treatise on Pennsylvania state taxation and Joe as one of the leading state practitioners in the nation. He has written many articles on state and local tax topics. Joe was appointed by the leadership of the House of Representatives to the 2004 Pennsylvania Business Tax Reform Commission, is a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and is listed in Who’s Who in America.
Joe served as a board member of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, vice chair of the Children’s Hospital Foundation, president of the board of trustees of St. Peter’s School in Philadelphia, president of the Society Hill Civic Association and as a trustee of the Philadelphia General Hospital Research Fund.
Joe earned undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Harvard University and his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where was the managing editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. From 1965-67, he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and received a Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service.
Jason J. Fichtner
Senior Research Fellow
Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Jason J. Fichtner is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. His research focuses on Social Security, federal tax policy, federal budget policy, retirement security, and policy proposals to increase saving and investment.
Previously, he served in several positions at the Social Security Administration, including as deputy commissioner of Social Security (acting), chief economist, and associate commissioner for retirement policy. He also served as senior economist with the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress.
His work has been featured in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Investor’s Business Daily, the Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic, and USA Today, as well as on broadcasts by PBS, NBC, and NPR.
He also serves as an adjunct professor at the Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and the Virginia Tech Center for Public Administration and Policy, where he teaches courses in economics, public finance, public policy process, public management, and public budgeting processes.
Fichtner earned his BA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; his MPP from Georgetown University; and his PhD in public administration and policy from Virginia Tech.
Partner-in-charge, State and Local Tax(SALT) Practice
David Seiden is the partner-in-charge of the State and Local Tax (SALT) Practice of Citrin Cooperman, a leading, nationally recognized full-service CPA firm – currently ranked as the 22nd largest firm in the United States. He brings more than 25 years of expertise in all areas of state and local tax and a wealth of knowledge to his clients, with experience spanning several industries, including financial services, banking, hedge funds, broker dealers, franchising, manufacturing and distribution, staffing, and technology.
Prior to joining Citrin Cooperman, Dave was the founding partner in a SALT consulting firm, SALT Link, LLC. Prior to starting his own firm, he spent 17 years as a SALT partner at a Big Four accounting firm where he held various leadership roles.
Dave has expansive expertise helping businesses navigate the complexities of multi-state income and franchise taxes, sales tax, payroll tax, and property tax. He has successfully represented taxpayers before state taxing authorities, saving clients millions of dollars in proposed assessments.
Dave has been able to obtain for his clients significant state tax incentives working with various state and local tax and governmental agencies.
He has extensive experience working with individuals on issues relating to residency. Whether it is helping clients plan for a change in residency or representing them in an audit, Dave understands what it takes to successfully withstand a state’s audit challenge.
Dave regularly writes articles and serves as a media resource on a multitude of tax-related topics. His articles and contributions have appeared in The Huffington Post, Retail Merchandiser, and State Tax Notes. He is also regularly engaged to speak at various conferences for organizations such as Moore Stephens North America (MSNA).
He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA).
Dave earned his B.S. in Accounting from American University. He is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York.