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

OCTOBER 8, 2014 | Policy Memo by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

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.

OCTOBER 8, 2014 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

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.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2014 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

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.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2014 | Policy Points by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

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.

AUGUST 30, 2014 | Testimony by DAWN MELING

Great Communicators: Pension Reform

What is the moral argument for government pension reform? These are Dawn Meling's remarks on that topic from the Great Communicator's Tournament in Denver, Colo.

JULY 25, 2014 | Commentary by ELIZABETH STELLE

Taxing Business Won’t Save Students

Paul Battista told a Congressional subcommittee last year: “We can now pay a higher family-sustaining wage! We have people working for us that are the primary breadwinners of their household.” But each year, Paul’s family business—and that of countless job creators—is threatened by efforts to bolster school funding by raising business taxes.

JULY 21, 2014 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Latest Credit Downgrade Hits One-Time Revenues and Pension Inaction

Today, credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded Pennsylvania’s general obligation bond rating from Aa2 to Aa3, citing the state’s use of one-time budgetary stop-gap measures and the continued underfunding of public pensions. This marks the third credit downgrade from ratings agencies in as many years.

JULY 17, 2014 | Commentary by BOB DICK

Budget Shields Taxpayers, but Challenges Remain

A contentious budget season has officially ended after Governor Corbett signed a $29 billion appropriations bill into law. But is it fiscally responsible? And what’s holding up reforms on the major issues, like pension reform, facing taxpayers across the state?

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Who are We?

The Commonwealth Foundation is Pennsylvania's free-market think tank.  The Commonwealth Foundation crafts free-market policies, convinces Pennsylvanians of their benefits, and counters attacks on liberty.