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Pennsylvania has several claims to fame including 2 pro football teams (the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers), having the highest concentration of Amish people in the United States, and manufacturing a large amount of steel. Did you know that the Keystone State also leads the nation in rural population, number of licensed hunters, covered bridges, meat packing plants, potato chip production, and pretzel bakeries?
Philadelphia, the largest city, boasts the cheesesteak sandwich, water ice, soft pretzels and Tastykakes (you might be familiar with their pink snowballs). Known as the birthplace of American democracy, Philly also houses the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall (the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution), and Valley Forge National Historical Park.
The entire state beckons visitors to its year-round playground. Outdoor activities include mountain biking, raptor watching, skiing, kayaking and more. From the Poconos and Allegheny Mountains to the Susquehanna River and Lake Erie, the diverse geology opens the lands up for all kinds of recreational activities. It''s a state full of rolling hills, lush forests, and acres of farmland.
Agriculturally, Pennsylvania produces large amounts of corn, soybeans, mushrooms and oats. Other large industries include steel manufacturing and automobile manufacturing. A large pharmaceutical trade keeps thousands employed including those who ship the pharmaceuticals to healthcare companies worldwide. Well-known businesses headquartered here include American Eagle Outfitters, Binney & Smith (the crayon people), Comcast, Hershey Foods (in a town called Hershey), QVC, and the Rite Aid Corporation. While adults work in these and other business, the children attend school.
A recent evaluation of the K-12 education system by Quality Counts awarded the state a score of 78.2 percent or a C-, as compared to the other 49 states. The school''s financial health scored a B-. Property taxes currently help fund the school system, but a property tax reform is in the works.
The Pennsylvania government taxes individual income at a flat rate of 3.07 percent with no personal exemptions. The state sales tax on taxable goods and services is 6 percent. Those who live on a modest income may qualify for the state''s Tax Forgiveness Credit. Living in this state could also give you a heads up that no one else in the nation has.
If your address is in Punxsutawney, you''ll be the first to know how long winter will be when the groundhog named Phil emerges from his burrow and either sees his shadow or doesn''t see it on February 2nd.
By: Michael Danzig