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

MARCH 3, 2015 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Wolf’s Crushing $4.6 Billion Tax Increase Largest in Pa History

March 3, 2015, HARRISBURG, Pa.—Today, Governor Wolf proposed a $4.6 billion tax increase in 2015-16 that would cost the average Pennsylvania family of four a stunning $1,450 a year—that isn’t the fresh start middle-class families were looking for.

FEBRUARY 23, 2015 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Safeguard Family Finances with the Taxpayer Protection Act

February 23, 2015, HARRISBURG, Pa.—Gasoline taxes, severance taxes, personal income taxes, property taxes, cigarette taxes—no matter the decade, governor, or party in power, a proposal to raise a new tax to cover government spending is always just around the corner. As a result, since 1970, state government spending has risen nearly $14,000 per family of four, leaving residents facing the tenth-highest tax burden in the country to pay for it all.

FEBRUARY 17, 2015 | Policy Points by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Student Funding Reform

Pennsylvania ranks among the nation’s leaders in education spending per student. Although spending levels are high, the system for distributing state funding is outdated. Weighted student funding (WSF) is a method for distributing education dollars that promotes fairness and transparency.

FEBRUARY 11, 2015 | Commentary by ELIZABETH STELLE

Long Term Problems are Big Opportunities for Change

Pennsylvania added nearly two dozen new lawmakers in November, and there’s a new face in the Governor’s Mansion. Indeed, that face will look very new, as Tom Wolf is the first Pennsylvania governor with a beard in more than a century. Unfortunately, the big problems facing taxpayers haven’t changed in years.

FEBRUARY 11, 2015 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Wolf’s Gas Tax Won’t Help Students, but Will Kill Their Job Opportunities

Today, Governor Wolf unveiled his plan to impose a natural gas severance tax on Pennsylvania’s most promising industry to boost funding for public schools. He, unfortunately, rehashed disproven campaign rhetoric on a mythical $3 billion in education funding cuts under his predecessor Gov. Corbett to justify his plan.

FEBRUARY 6, 2015 | Policy Points by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Pennsylvania State Budget Toolkit

Pennsylvania State Budget

The enacted $29 billion General Fund budget (a 1.88 percent increase over 2013-2014) and $71.4 billion total operating budget represent Pennsylvania’s highest spending levels ever—exceeding years when federal stimulus dollars were used to balance the budget.

FEBRUARY 6, 2015 | Policy Points by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Pennsylvania State Budget Trends, 2015

PA State Budget Facts

The enacted $29 billion General Fund budget (a 1.88 percent increase over 2013-2014) and $71.4 billion total operating budget represent Pennsylvania’s highest spending levels ever—exceeding years when federal stimulus dollars were used to balance the budget.

FEBRUARY 5, 2015 | Policy Memo by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Five Steps Toward a Balanced Budget

The consequences of overspending have plagued Pennsylvania for years. This year is no different. Lawmakers are tasked with eliminating a projected budget deficit of nearly $1.7 billion, according to forecasts from the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO). Without reform, this structural deficit could exceed $2.5 billion by 2020.

FEBRUARY 5, 2015 | Commentary by MATTHEW BROUILLETTE, JAKE HAULK

Crisis Management: PA’s Public Pension Problem

Crisis management can be broken down into three general phases: identifying the problem, developing the best plan to fix it, and executing that plan while adjusting as needed. It’s a simple framework that can be applied to the smallest or largest organizational problems. Without doubt, Pennsylvania taxpayers face a big one—a public pension crisis that ranks among the worst financial problems in the state’s history.

FEBRUARY 3, 2015 | CF In The News

PA tax law wallops man who bought truck before moving

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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.