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.

Regulation

Progress and Setbacks in the 2017-18 Budget

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • October 30, 2017

Pennsylvania’s four-month budget battle is just about over, thanks to an assortment of targeted tax hikes and fee increases along with borrowing and one-time transfers. However, lawmakers and the governor…

Media

Read More: Progress and Setbacks in the 2017-18 Budget

State Budget

Debt Ahead, but Reform Is Coming, Too

  • October 25, 2017

The General Assembly is on the verge of authorizing HB 785, which could add more than $1.2 billion to the state’s debt load. The legislation would amend the Capital…

Media

Read More: Debt Ahead, but Reform Is Coming, Too

State Budget

Gov. Wolf’s Borrowing Schemes Won’t Work

  • October 25, 2017

Gov. Wolf’s careless decision to overspend last year has played a significant role in this latest budget impasse. Frustrated with the pace of the process, the governor decided to…

Media

Read More: Gov. Wolf’s Borrowing Schemes Won’t Work

State Budget

Pennsylvania Needs (Tax) Climate Change

  • October 19, 2017

What does it take to be #26? The Tax Foundation has the answer. The independent tax policy group released its latest State Business Climate Tax Index, which ranks each…

Media

Read More: Pennsylvania Needs (Tax) Climate Change

State Budget

What’s in the Latest House Revenue Plan

  • October 18, 2017

The state House approved another revenue plan late last night, potentially signaling an end to the 2017-18 budget negotiations. The bill, HB 542, would allow the commonwealth to…

Media

Read More: What’s in the Latest House Revenue Plan

Regulation

How Should Pennsylvania Attract Amazon?

  • Nathan Benefield
  • October 17, 2017

Amazon has been dominating Pennsylvania business news since announcing its interest in creating a second U.S. headquarters (HQ2). Several regions of the state are expected to contend for this new…

Media

Read More: How Should Pennsylvania Attract Amazon?

Regulation

Liquor Store Loan? Don’t Bank on It

  • Nathan Benefield
  • October 16, 2017

Gov. Wolf’s plan to borrow more than $1 billion against PLCB revenue to balance the budget makes little sense. Under Wolf’s plan to “monetize” our liquor system, the state’s General…

Commentary

Read More: Liquor Store Loan? Don’t Bank on It

Healthcare

Wolf’s Wrongheaded Veto Threat

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • October 9, 2017

Governor Wolf intends to veto Pennsylvania’s welfare code (HB 59) due to a reform contained within the bill—even though the reform can reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth. The modest reform instructs the…

Media

Read More: Wolf’s Wrongheaded Veto Threat

Regulation

Tapping Indebted PLCB to Pay Down Debt a Risky Bet

  • October 5, 2017

In a press conference yesterday, Gov. Wolf announced a plan to borrow from future PLCB “profits” to pay off last year’s budget deficit. Under the governor’s proposal, the state’s…

Press Release

Read More: Tapping Indebted PLCB to Pay Down Debt a Risky Bet

Regulation

Gov. Wolf Proposes Using Debt-Ridden Agency to Pay Down Debt

  • October 5, 2017

In a press conference yesterday, Gov. Wolf announced a plan to borrow from future PLCB “profits” to pay off last year’s budget deficit. Under the governor’s plan, the state’s…

Media

Read More: Gov. Wolf Proposes Using Debt-Ridden Agency to Pay Down Debt

Regulation

An Inhospitable Tax Increase

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • October 4, 2017

Another day, another tax. The newest plan to fill a $2.2 billion budget hole includes a 5 percent increase to the hotel tax, along with a new tax on fireworks and third-party online…

Media

Read More: An Inhospitable Tax Increase

State Budget

Four Alternatives to the Warehouse Tax

  • Elizabeth Stelle, Nathan Benefield
  • October 3, 2017

The latest tax proposal to balance the $2.2 billion budget shortfall is receiving a cool reception. The tax hike under consideration would extend the sales tax to commercial warehouses. The…

Media

Read More: Four Alternatives to the Warehouse Tax

State Budget

What’s Next for the 2017-18 Budget?

  • Nathan Benefield
  • September 28, 2017

What does the Senate's vote to non-concur mean? How does a conference committee work? How does the credit downgrade affect the budget? Negotiations over the 2017-18 budget have raised interesting…

Memo

Read More: What’s Next for the 2017-18 Budget?

Education

Gov. Wolf’s Indefensible Decisions Continue to Hurt Students

  • September 28, 2017

Pennsylvania’s successful scholarship programs—the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC)—are in danger once again. The Wolf Administration has delayed the programs’ approval letters, which…

Media

Read More: Gov. Wolf’s Indefensible Decisions Continue to Hurt Students

Regulation

PLCB Strikes Again!

  • September 22, 2017

As lawmakers continue to debate balancing the state budget, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) gave Pennsylvanians yet another reason to privatize the antiquated liquor system. The agency unleashed…

Media

Read More: PLCB Strikes Again!

State Budget

“Recurring Revenues” Lead to Recurring Pain

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • September 21, 2017

The House’s preferred approach to close the state’s $2.2 billion deficit recently came under fire for its reliance on one-time revenue sources rather than recurring revenues, i.e., tax increases. But this…

Media

Read More: “Recurring Revenues” Lead to Recurring Pain

Regulation

The Solution to Pa.’s Credit Downgrade

  • Jessica Barnett
  • September 20, 2017

Pennsylvania’s irresponsible spending increases have taken their toll – and credit rating agencies have taken notice. Following a credit downgrade from Standard & Poor’s Wednesday morning, Pennsylvania’s…

Media

Read More: The Solution to Pa.’s Credit Downgrade

State Budget

More Budget Scare Tactics

  • Nathan Benefield
  • September 18, 2017

Gov. Wolf announced on Friday that he will delay $1.7 billion in payments to Medicaid providers (for a week) and to the public school employees' pension fund. The governor cited the General…

Media

Read More: More Budget Scare Tactics

State Budget

House Lawmakers Vote to Protect Taxpayers

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • September 14, 2017

Last night, 103 House lawmakers voted for a no-tax, no-borrowing plan that will balance the state budget once fully implemented. Please take a moment to thank those lawmakers.

Media

Read More: House Lawmakers Vote to Protect Taxpayers