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Pennsylvania Top 10 List

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I am not a State, I am a Commonwealth

I am not a State, I am a Commonwealth

It has been 6 weeks since I wrote my last blog and I am writing this at the last-minute since I have none in reserve to publish. Fortunately, some blogs write themselves and this one fits in that category. Here is the story about how this one blog sprung to life.

I was riding my bike today and wanted to try out a freshly paved section of road. I had in my mind that I wanted to do a 30 mile ride despite the hot and humid temperatures.  I set out without thinking my route through very well and was unsure how I could incorporate the new pavement in with my plan of 30 miles. In the end I did not get any mileage on the new road and I ended up doing 33 miles while finishing on a very rough section of road that was very annoying especially when my under-seat wedge pack storage bag came loose and began to swing like a pendulum behind me hitting the back of my leg with every pedal stroke. This all began happening at about mile 31 when I was hot, tired and in no mood to stop and properly re-attach the storage bag. So I didn’t and waited until I came to a stop sign about a half a mile down the road.

While all this was going on I kept my sanity by reminding myself why I was glad I no longer had to ride my bike on beat up, pot-hole scarred roads in Ohio and Pennsylvania anymore. I forgot to mention I was up north for this particular ride that straddled the Pennsylvania-Ohio border. The only good thing that came from this ride was the idea that I would make a top 10 list of things I don’t miss about the place where I grew up. I figured a top 10 list is needed since Letterman hung it up a couple of months ago. So, here it is the top 10 list that you are craving:

10 things I don’t miss about Pennsylvania

      10) Duh, the roads. Despite raising the state gasoline tax recently by 9 cents, the roads are still horrible and now truckers simply fill up in New Jersey (which has very low state gas taxes) going west or in Ohio (when going east) which is also lower. An eighteen wheeler can easily travel the length of Pennsylvania on a tank of fuel. I heard from an industry insider that the amounts of gas tax revenues collected in Pennsylvania actually went down in the first reporting period compared to the prior year period. When will the politicians learn? Sorry about the length of that item but I am upset if you can’t tell.

     9) The weather. It was miserably hot and humid on my ride – as bad as any recent day in Georgia but they make up for with a lack of sunshine, bitter cold winters and plenty of rain right at the outset of growing season.

     8) Their ridiculously complex method for municipal wage tax withholding. Several years ago they changed from a very simple system of having to pay taxes based on where you live to a complex system based on where you live, where you work and how many push ups you can do in 60 seconds.

     7) Since I seem to be ranting a bit about roads. How about this gem of an idea? Several years ago the state decided to change the number system of a road that goes north and south from West Middlesex to Pittsburgh. It was called route 60 north and south. Now it is called route 376 east and west. I suddenly must travel west to go due north from the Pittsburgh airport to West Middlesex.

     6) Bugs – mosquitoes specifically. I suppose it has to do with the long periods of rain that leads to lots of standing water.  Over 9 inches of rain fell in June. Not too far from where I grew up is a state park called Mosquito Lake. I am not kidding you about the name; you could look it up. That really isn’t a great job of branding. To be fair this is actually located in Ohio

     5) Sales tax methodology. This can probably be said about any state that has sales tax but I was upset that my Gatorade that was on sale for 2 for $3 actually cost $3.18 with sales tax. To be fair, it should be noted that most of Pennsylvania’s sales tax rate is still just 6% except for the larger metro areas around Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

     4) The state capital is Harrisburg and they tried to file for bankruptcy because they were in debt due to some bad choices related to an incinerator. Yes, really an incinerator.  The problem with the bankruptcy idea is they can’t do that by Pennsylvania law. They are trying to manage their debt load with some restructuring and more taxes.

     3) They don’t allow a deduction for retirement contributions like a 401k. It is not taxable when you collect it when you are retired for state tax purposes – but who would want to retire in Pennsylvania?

     2) The City of Philadelphia. They booed Santa Claus and that just isn’t right.

     1) Did I mention the roads…?

I hope you enjoyed my bitter rant or found some humor that can make you feel better today. Have a great week.


Written by pacelinebiz

July 20, 2015 at 8:45 am

One Response

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  1. Doug, I can’t believe that you don’t miss us and our lovely roads and weather.

    Elizabeth Ward

    July 20, 2015 at 9:29 am

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