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

JUNE 21, 2016 | Commentary by ELIZABETH STELLE

Harrisburg Should Curb Waste, Not Fund It

What do waking up, driving to work, and stopping at Starbucks have in common? Each of these seemingly mundane activities is impacted by state taxes. It’s time to break this cycle and spend smarter before resorting to tax hikes.

JUNE 20, 2016 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

8 Years of Spending Hikes Crammed into 2?

In the eight years before Gov. Wolf took office, General Fund spending increased by $2.85 billion. Wolf wants to tie or exceed this amount in just two years.

JUNE 17, 2016 | Commentary by RICHARD DREYFUSS

Our Collision Course with Pa.'s Pension Iceberg

As Pennsylvania continues approaching the public pension iceberg at full speed, how can we avoid a collision? Simply put, through reforms that mirror steps taken by the private sector years ago.

JUNE 14, 2016 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

House Pension ‘Reform’ Overpromises, Underdelivers

The state House today passed a pension bill that promises reform but delivers little savings and keeps the state steaming toward a fiscal iceberg. While this “stacked hybrid” plan is projected to save $5 billion over 30 years, the savings in present value are just $1 billion on a $63 billion debt.


'Underfunded' Pa. Schools Spend Nearly $16,000 Per Pupil

Contradicting the claim that Pennsylvania underfunds its school system, public school spending hit an all-time high in the 2014-15 school year, approaching $27.4 billion—or $15,854 per student—according to the latest state Department of Education data.

MAY 24, 2016 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Tax Hike Alternatives Could Spare Pennsylvanians’ Pocketbooks

As Gov. Wolf pushes for a multi-billion tax increase, the Taxpayers’ Caucus identified $3 billion the state can realize through reducing waste, growing non-tax revenue, and implementing accountability measures for existing programs


Philly Should Reject Mayor's Tax-a-Cola Plan

Mayor Kenney’s soda tax would nearly double the average cost of a 12-pack of soda – hitting hardest those who least can afford it, not to mention small retailers, bottlers, and restaurants.

MAY 4, 2016 | Policy Memo by ELIZABETH STELLE

Pennsylvanians Flee from High Taxes

New census figures paint a sobering picture. In 2015 alone, Pennsylvania lost 41,600 residents to other states in net migration. This amounts to one person every 12.5 minutes, nearly the entire population of York. Residents in states with higher state and local tax burdens are more likely to want to move than those in lower-tax states. Below are real-life stories of Pennsylvanians on the move.

APRIL 27, 2016 | Commentary by NATHAN BENEFIELD

Time to End Corporate Welfare Handouts

Conservatives loathe government handouts. Liberals denounce special favors to corporations. One thing can unify these two sides: ending Pennsylvania’s budget-busting corporate welfare handouts.


Pennsylvanians Spend Nearly One-Third of Year Paying Taxes

If you thought Tax Day was April 15, think again. Today, April 22, Pennsylvanians have finally earned enough to pay their 2016 tax bill—a bill that exceeds what they’ll spend on housing, clothing, and food combined.

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