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

SEPTEMBER 27, 2016 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

House Committee Votes to Save Vape Shops

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

SEPTEMBER 23, 2016 | Commentary by BOB DICK

Tax Sends Vape Shops Up in Smoke

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.

SEPTEMBER 7, 2016 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Exposed: State Agency Pension Debt Revealed for First Time

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.

AUGUST 25, 2016 | Policy Points by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

How Does Pennsylvania's Tax Burden Compare?

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.

AUGUST 22, 2016 | Commentary by CHRIS HUGHES

State Government is Killing My Business

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.

AUGUST 17, 2016 | Policy Memo by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

School District Labor Contracts: Surprising Provisions

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

AUGUST 10, 2016 | Policy Memo by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Seven Threats to the 2017-18 Budget

The 2016-17 budget remains unbalanced. Without serious efforts to reduce spending or reform major cost drivers, like public pensions and the sprawling human services system, taxpayers should expect a push for tax hikes in 2017.

AUGUST 8, 2016 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Punitive e-Cigarette Tax Could Ax 300 Shops, 1,500 Jobs

Chris Hughes of Fat Cat Vapor Shop in Montoursville is preparing to close his doors for good after Gov. Wolf and lawmakers imposed a 40 percent, retroactive tax on his inventory, effective October 1. Now, one lawmaker is moving to save shop owners like Hughes from losing their livelihoods.

AUGUST 1, 2016 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Games? eBooks? Music? There's a Tax for That

Pennsylvanians who didn’t stock up on iTunes, eBooks, and game apps yesterday will begin paying more today, as the 6 percent sales tax on digital downloads, satellite radio, and streaming video and audio such as Netflix, goes into effect.

JULY 22, 2016 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

DNC in Philly: Top 5 Ways Big-Government Policies Are Killing the Host City

Philadelphia

As all eyes turn to Philadelphia next week for the Democratic National Convention, just steps from the Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphians are suffering from high taxes, union-controlled public schools, and a government-run liquor monopoly.

Total Records: 632


Top Ten Recipients of Government Union Contributions

September 30

Election season is in full swing, but so is the fall legislative session. This time of year elected officials walk a narrow line to avoid the illegal practice of using public resources for politics. Yet, public resources are used all-year round to funnel union dues and campaign contributions from workers' ...