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.
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.
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.
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.
A Montgomery County judge recently ruled that Lower Merion School District misled taxpayers by stashing huge cash reserves while repeatedly hiking taxes on township residents. Could 8 other Pennsylvania school districts be doing the same thing?
Today, the House Finance Committee voted 19-4 to repeal the 40-percent retroactive tax that is poised to drive hundreds of vape shops out of business and
Imagine you find a way to help others live healthier lives, and this passion leads you to invest your savings to start a related small business. Now, imagine state government taking it all away from you with the stroke of a pen.
As lawmakers mull major changes to Pennsylvania’s public pension system this Fall, the Commonwealth Foundation today revealed new state pension details, showing specific unfunded liabilities for state and local agencies, the General Assembly, the judiciary, state-funded colleges, and other state employers.
Pennsylvania’s tax structure should benefit all Pennsylvanians, not just some. Unfortunately, our state’s stifling tax burden harms residents. Each year, government spending grows, increasing the pressure for higher taxes. These taxes weigh heavily on the state’s economy and lead to slow job and income growth. Lower taxes are the key to a stronger economy.
In 2013, I opened my first business. I’d overcome many challenges and assumed some gut-wrenching risks to get there, but I did it—and I was proud. But less than three years later, my business—my dream—is on the brink of shutting down because state government is taxing it to death.
More than 1.7 million students rely on Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts to meet their diverse educational needs. School boards from each district agree to collective bargaining agreements (labor contracts) with local teachers’ unions. These labor contracts, renewed every few years through closed-door negotiations, contain various privileges for unions. This summary highlights key contract provisions that tilt the playing field toward government unions at the expense o
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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.
Pennsylvania’s primary tool for grading schools –the School Performance Profile (SPP)—is being overhauled. The current SPP is not particularly straightforward, but it’s based mainly on test scores and academic growth. At the direction of Gov. Tom Wolf, the revised SPP will become ...