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 19, 2017 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

State Budget Solution #2: Liquor Privatization

As Governor Wolf and legislative leaders seek to redesign state government, ending Prohibition-era liquor laws should be without argument. Solution #2: Liquor Privatization

JANUARY 11, 2017 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

State Budget Solution #1: Corrections Reform

The Commonwealth Foundation has outlined a menu of policy solutions to close the budget deficit without tax increases. Solution #1: Corrections Reform

DECEMBER 22, 2016 | Commentary by ELIZABETH STELLE

A Christmas Wish List for Pennsylvania

“No more lives torn apart, and wars would never start, and time would heal all hearts.” You might recognize those words from the ubiquitous-around-the-holidays song, “Grown-Up Christmas List.” Grown up? Sure. Likely to happen? Not on this planet. Here is a Christmas wish list that can come true and would make Pennsylvania a place where everyone can thrive.

DECEMBER 21, 2016 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Pa. Population Drops for First Time in 31 Years

Moving out of Pennsylvania

For the first time since 1985, Pennsylvania’s total population declined last year, falling by more than 7,600, according to new data from the Census Bureau.

DECEMBER 21, 2016 | Policy Brief by BOB DICK

Embracing Innovation in State Government

Conventional governing is hampering Pennsylvania’s progress. Growing state budgets combined with one-time revenue transfers and targeted tax hikes are delaying the structural reforms essential to improving the quality of life for people who live and work in Pennsylvania.

DECEMBER 13, 2016 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

State Spending to Blame for Low Economic Opportunity in Pa.

When it comes to controlling spending, Pennsylvania ranks a disappointing 30th among states, according to the Economic Freedom of North America 2016 report, released by the Fraser Institute.

DECEMBER 12, 2016 | Commentary by GORDON TOMB

Don't Wait on Washington for Manufacturing Jobs

During his campaign stops in Pennsylvania, President-elect Donald Trump touted his intention to bring manufacturing jobs back to the state. That’s a worthy goal, but the truth is the Keystone State doesn’t need to wait for a president of either party to start revitalizing its manufacturing sector.

DECEMBER 2, 2016 | Policy Points by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Tracking State Budget Trends

The 2016-17 General Fund budget added to Pennsylvania’s fiscal challenges. Lawmakers approved the $31.6 billion budget without implementing meaningful reforms or authorizing enough revenue to balance the budget. Despite lacking solid revenue sources, the legislature increased spending by $1.6 billion—a sum vastly exceeding the combined growth rate of inflation and population.

NOVEMBER 16, 2016 | News Availability

New IFO Report Emphasizes Need to Reform Spending

Pennsylvania Deficit Watch

Yesterday’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) mid-year report warned Pennsylvania could face a $900 million budget shortfall this year alone. By 2022, this deficit could reach $3 billion per year.

OCTOBER 27, 2016 | News Availability

Union Leaders Kill Critical Pension Reform at Members’ and Taxpayers’ Expense

In a blow to the public employees they claim to represent, government union leaders blocked significant pension reform that would have enhanced choice and portability for new state and public school employees and slowed the accumulation of taxpayer-backed pension debt.

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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.

Budget Solution of the Week: School Choice

January 20

Earlier this month, House Majority Leader Dave Reed challenged his colleagues to change the way Harrisburg operates: “Now is the time to reimagine and redesign government, our state and our future.” A change in Harrisburg’s culture is surely needed. Decades of high taxes, wasteful ...