Harrisburg – Today, CF staff joined with state lawmakers to announce new legislation that would create a dedicated funding stream for the Commonwealth Foundation.
The measure, HB 4110, creates an automatic payroll deduction of $50 per month from all state workers and school district employees, to serve as a contribution to the Commonwealth Foundation.
Those wishing to opt out of the mandatory dues deduction would still be required to pay a “fair share fee” of $35 per month, for the benefits they receive from the Commonwealth Foundation’s research and reporting.
Additionally, the bill would place an individual mandate on all residents of the state, enforced through the income tax code. Anyone not contributing at least $35 per month to the Commonwealth Foundation would be required to pay a 2.5% tax surcharge on their income.
All funds collected will be deposited into the Taxpayers’ Fund for the Protection of Taxpayers.
“It has put the Commonwealth Foundation at a disadvantage against unions like the PSEA and AFSCME; groups like PennFuture and the Keystone Research Center; and even Hollywood studios, banks, and automakers that get taxpayer funding – and lobby for more,” said Matt Brouillette, president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation. “It is inequitable for our organization to not receive its fair share of taxpayers’ money.”
The new legislation would increase funding to CF by an estimated 20,000%.
“Some current donors might consider this hypocrisy,” added Brouillette, “but once lawmakers show up with their giant cardboard checks, all concerns will dissipate into rainbows.”
“I am amazed the Commonwealth Foundation has tried to survive solely on voluntary contributions, as though there remains any semblance of a free-market system in this country,” said Rep. Ben Dooped (I – Naiveville). “Every good program deserves taxpayer funding.”