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


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.

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?

JULY 10, 2014 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Governor Right to Blame Gov. Union Leaders on Pension Reform

Today, the governor identified the special interests that oppose any kind of fiscally responsible pension reform: government union leaders,” commented Nathan Benefield, vice president of policy analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation. “That Gov. Corbett feels a line-item veto is needed to force action on this issue illustrates the immense power these government union executives wield in Harrisburg.

JULY 9, 2014 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

As Budget Hangs in Balance, Consequences of Pension Inaction Emerge

While state lawmakers approved a state budget without enacting pension reform, Detroit’s failure to address the same issue illustrates the painful consequences of inaction—a proposed 4.5 percent cut in benefits for retirees.


Pension Reform Roadblock: Gov. Union Executives

July 1, 2014, Harrisburg, Pa—Yesterday, Gov. Corbett withheld his signature from the state budget in a bold attempt to force action on substantive pension reform. Today, despite near-universal acknowledgement of a looming pension crisis, the House pension vehicle was sent back to committee—a move backed by government union leaders.

JUNE 25, 2014 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

House Plan a Positive Step in Budget Negotiations

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives advanced a no-tax-increase budget bill. Crucially, this bill addresses funding gaps without relying on more revenue from Pennsylvanians already shouldering the 10th highest tax burden in the country.

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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.