Governor Shapiro’s First Budget Falls Short
Originally published at RealClearPennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro’s first state budget proposal perpetuates unsustainable spending and fails to address the most promising ideas he put forward during his campaign. For…Read More: Governor Shapiro’s First Budget Falls Short
Pennsylvania’s complex state budget has enabled policymakers to keep taxpayers in the dark when it comes to state spending. Year after year, some elected officials use budget gimmicks to both make the budget appear balanced and to secure their own agendas. Pennsylvanians deserve reforms that bring true transparency to the budgeting process. We must limit spending growth to a sustainable rate, ensuring the state government—like hardworking taxpayers—live within its means.
Five Facts About the Shadow Budget
Lawmakers should utilize surplus shadow budget funds before raising taxes on working families.
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Treasurer Playing Chicken with State Budget
In a news interview yesterday, State Treasurer Joe Torsella threatened that he won’t allow the state to borrow any more money to pay bills, unless the budget is balanced.
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Pennsylvania’s Small Towns Need Harrisburg to Think Big
The stories are all too familiar. In towns hollowed out by economic downturns, Pennsylvanians are struggling to get by. Many are wondering when, or if, things will get better. Small…
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Reducing the State’s Cash Stockpile Can Help Balance the Budget
Lawmakers considering balancing the budget with borrowing and higher taxes could opt for a responsible alternative: drawing down funds from the shadow budget's “banking accounts.” But first, let’s take a…
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Tax Hikes Won’t Prevent Credit Downgrades
In July, S&P placed Pennsylvania on a negative credit watch, citing budget uncertainties. The move signaled a potential credit rating downgrade for Pennsylvania, which Governor Wolf is using to push for higher taxes.
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Policy Memo: Analysis of the State Senate’s Revenue Plan
On July 27, the state Senate passed a $1.8 billion revenue package, which includes more than $1.2 billion in borrowing and $570 million in tax increases to pay for the…
MemoRead More: Policy Memo: Analysis of the State Senate’s Revenue Plan
News Release: $65 Million in Earmarks Hidden in State’s Fiscal Code
Pennsylvanians shouldn’t need a decoder ring to know how their tax dollars are being spent. But lawmakers have hidden more than $65 million in vaguely worded earmarks in the Senate-passed…
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Can Other Funds Help Balance the State Budget?
The total operating budget for the state exceeds $80 billion. In addition to the $32 billion General Fund, the “shadow budget” includes: $28.7 billion in federal funds, $4.7 billion in…
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Infographic: What Will They Tax Next?
The Washington Observer-Reporter recently editorialized on the tax hikes in the Senate-passed revenue plan, answering questions all Pennsylvanians should be asking themselves: Do you heat your house with…
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News Release: Analysis: Senate Tax Hikes Would Cost 3,600 Jobs, $1 Billion in Income
In July, the state Senate narrowly approved a $600 million tax-hike package, raising taxes on home heating, natural gas drilling, electricity, and even cell phone service. The bill comes to…
Press ReleaseRead More: News Release: Analysis: Senate Tax Hikes Would Cost 3,600 Jobs, $1 Billion in Income
State Borrowing the Result of Overspending
Yesterday, the Pennsylvania State Treasurer and Auditor General approved a short term “STIP” loan to cover cash flow. For reference, you can see the GF balance on the…
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Higher Liquor Prices Just the Latest Hit to Pennsylvania Families
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced it would be arbitrarily raising prices on 422 wine and liquor products. This increase is a result of the “liquor modernization” efforts—which have…
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Is State Spending “Cut to the Bone”?
One of the justifications Gov. Wolf uses to raise taxes—for the fifth time in nine years—is that state government spending has been relatively restrained. This argument suggests that other…
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Cost of Proposed Tax Hikes: 3,600 Jobs Lost
The tax hikes included in the revenue plan passed by the Senate (26-24) and supported by Gov. Wolf amount to nearly $600 million in total new taxes for next…
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Liquor Privatization: The Cure for Power Plays and Tax Hikes
Get ready to pay more for alcohol in state stores. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) is set to use its newly acquired power—via Act 39—to raise the…
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Doubling Down on Tax Increases
Bucking calls to responsibly balance the budget, the state Senate passed a plan to borrow more than $1.2 billion and raise taxes by more than $570 million. The total tax…
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News Release: Senate’s Broad-Based Tax Hikes Should Be Rejected by House
In an effort to close a budget gap created by their own overspending, Senate lawmakers today passed a series of broad-based tax hikes that will hit nearly every Pennsylvania family…
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More Bad Budget Ideas: Resurrecting the Home Heating Tax
With no clear path to a balanced budget, lawmakers have suggested resurrecting the long-dead natural gas receipts tax in order to pay for this year's $32 billion budget. Sound familiar?…
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Op-Ed: Should Pennsylvanians Pay More for The Walking Dead?
Thanks to last year’s state budget, you’re paying more to watch House of Cards. This year, The Walking Dead—and a host of other cable TV shows—could cost you more, too. …
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The Tax Hike Non-Solution
Contrary to the prevailing media narrative, it appears budget negotiations have taken a positive turn. According to Jason Gottesman of The PLS Reporter (paywall), House Republicans—led by Speaker Mike Turzai—have offered…
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Rescuing Pennsylvania from Fiscal Shipwreck
The state’s shaky fiscal position is no secret. Lawmakers continue to negotiate behind closed doors to eliminate the current deficit and pay for new spending in the $32…
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