Center for Taxes & Fiscal Responsibility

The Center for Taxes & Fiscal Responsibility works to reduce the size, scope, and “tax-take” of state government; restore the government sector to its proper and limited role in our lives; and make government more open, transparent, and accountable to citizens.

Research Items

JANUARY 26, 2015 | Commentary by NATHAN BENEFIELD

Shale Gas Fuels Pennsylvania Job Growth

It’s indisputable that where there is Marcellus shale drilling there has been robust economic growth. Over the past six years, Pennsylvania counties with Marcellus shale drilling led the state in job growth along with growth in workers’ wages.

JANUARY 13, 2015 | Commentary by NATHAN BENEFIELD

Wolf's Multi-Million Dollar Conflict of Interest

Governor-elect Tom Wolf has come out of the gate leading a charge for ethics reform in government. But if accepting a small gift creates a conflict of interest, the gov.-elect will soon be facing an enormous ethical dilemma: negotiating new state contracts with government unions who were among his largest campaign donors this past election.

DECEMBER 11, 2014 | Commentary by BOB DICK

Pennsylvanians Deserve True Fairness

Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to pursue success in our state. While Gov.-elect Wolf's intentions echo this noble sentiment, many of his proposals fall far short of his vision.

OCTOBER 24, 2014 | Commentary by BOB DICK

Can Your Family Bear the Burden of Tax Increases?

Can you afford to lose the equivalent of a mortgage payment? How about four? Given a possible 188 percent increase in the state income tax rate to pay for Tom Wolf’s education spending plans, these questions could be in Pennsylvanians' futures.


Assessing the Cost of Tom Wolf's Spending and Tax Proposals

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf has proposed several new spending initiatives and tax code changes, though specific details remain lacking. To give Pennsylvanians a better idea of the impact of these proposals, we conducted an analysis of his two major education funding proposals. We also analyze his personal income tax proposal, the increase in the income tax rate required to pay for his spending plans, and the impact on taxpayers.


Analysis: Wolf's "Fresh Start" Plan Requires Huge Tax Increases

October 8, 2014, HARRISBURG, Pa.—A new analysis of gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf’s “Fresh Start” plan reveals that Wolf’s spending and tax proposals—$4.6 billion in new spending on education alone—would result in a potential 121% increase to the state income tax rate, bringing it to a whopping 6.8 percent. That’s almost an additional $600

OCTOBER 7, 2014 | Commentary by NATHAN BENEFIELD

Immunizing Taxpayers from Chronic Overspending

Last week, two major bond rating agencies (Fitch and Standards & Poor’s) downgraded Pennsylvania’s debt rating citing poor fiscal health. While this should worry voters—taxpayers will be forced to pay more for state borrowing—it isn’t too late to take our medicine and recover.

OCTOBER 6, 2014 | Commentary by GORDON TOMB

New Tax Would Add to Challenges of Gas Industry

Armstrong County farmer Randy Walker worries about the effect of a natural gas severance tax on his royalties and the job market. Mr. Walker’s concerns are well founded. The natural gas industry is facing marketplace challenges that would be exacerbated by a severance tax.


Taxpayer Protection Act Shields Working Families

September 16, 2014, HARRISBURG, Pa.—Today, the Senate Finance Committee passed Senate Bill 7, commonly known as the Taxpayer Protection Act (TPA), out of committee, signaling that protecting taxpayers’ pocketbooks is high on lawmakers’ priority lists in the Fall session.


The Taxpayer Protection Act

Due to 40 years of government overspending, state and local taxes now cost Pennsylvanians $4,374 per person, equaling 10.3% of resident’s total income. Pennsylvania currently has the 10th highest state and local tax burden in the nation, up from 25th in 1991.

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Who are We?

The Commonwealth Foundation is Pennsylvania's free-market think tank.  The Commonwealth Foundation transforms free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish.