Regulation

Five Steps Toward a Balanced Budget

  • February 5, 2015

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…

Memo

Read More: Five Steps Toward a Balanced Budget

Education

Assessing the Cost of Tom Wolf’s Spending and Tax Proposals

  • October 8, 2014

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf has proposed several new spending initiatives and tax code changes, though specific details remain lacking. To give Pennsylvanians a better idea of the impact of these proposals,…

Memo

Read More: Assessing the Cost of Tom Wolf’s Spending and Tax Proposals

State Budget

The Taxpayer Protection Act

  • September 16, 2014

Due to 40 years of government overspending, state and local taxes now cost Pennsylvanians $4,374 per person, equaling 10.3% of resident’s total income. Pennsylvania currently has the 10th highest state and…

Fact Sheet

Read More: The Taxpayer Protection Act

Education

Ten Thousand Lifeboats

  • September 11, 2014

In 2001, Pennsylvania became the first state in the nation to enact an education tax credit aimed at corporations. Since then, the popular Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program has…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Ten Thousand Lifeboats

Education

Education Spending Poll

  • August 26, 2014

Nearly three-quarters of Pennsylvania voters underestimate the amount the state spends on education. And when informed of the facts, support for boosting education funding by hiking taxes dropped significantly.

Poll

Read More: Education Spending Poll

Education

Philadelphia School Trends, 2002-03 to 2012-13

  • August 1, 2014

The School District of Philadelphia is in desperate need of reform, but its many problems cannot be solved by simply raising taxes and increasing spending.

Fact Sheet

Read More: Philadelphia School Trends, 2002-03 to 2012-13

Public Union Democracy

Triple Threat Pension Debt

  • June 18, 2014

At more than $50 billion in debt our pension plans for state and school workers are among the worst funded in the country. Without reform, Pennsylvanians face cuts to services, teacher layoffs, higher…

Poll

Read More: Triple Threat Pension Debt

Education

Five Facts on Pennsylvania Public Schools

  • June 4, 2014

The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently released its annual summary of public school finances for the 2012-13 school year. Here are some basic facts about school finances and spending,…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Five Facts on Pennsylvania Public Schools

Regulation

Stopping the Sinkhole

  • May 27, 2014

Evidence from the private sector and some reformed public sector pension programs shows that pension reform is possible and creates significant savings to firms in the private sector and taxpayers…

Report

Read More: Stopping the Sinkhole

State Budget

2014 Pennsylvania State Budget

  • May 15, 2014

Governor Corbett's proposed budget of $29.4 billion in General Fund spending (a 3.3% increase) and $71.8 billion in spending from all funds represents Pennsylvania's highest spending levels ever—exceeding years when…

Fact Sheet

Read More: 2014 Pennsylvania State Budget

Taxes & Economy

Dangers of a Severance Tax

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • May 7, 2014

Given the fiscal challenges facing the state, many advocacy groups are calling for new taxes on natural gas. However, lawmakers should be aware that a severance tax will make Pennsylvania…

Memo

Read More: Dangers of a Severance Tax

Public Union Democracy

Government Unions’ Political Spending

  • April 8, 2014

Currently, state and local governments, including school districts, use taxpayer-funded payroll systems and public employee time to collect union campaign contributions to candidates as well as union membership dues, a…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Government Unions’ Political Spending

Taxes & Economy

The Harmful Effects of a Minimum Wage Increase

  • April 7, 2014

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama proposed increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. Although it sounds beneficial to low-wage workers, minimum wage…

Fact Sheet

Read More: The Harmful Effects of a Minimum Wage Increase

Regulation

Blueprint for a Prosperous Pennsylvania

  • Elizabeth Stelle, Jessica Barnett
  • February 3, 2014

Over the past six fiscal years, the commonwealth has spent more than it has taken in.  This fiscal gap is projected to widen as expenditures are on pace to grow…

Report

Read More: Blueprint for a Prosperous Pennsylvania

Government Accountability

Answering the Critics About Paycheck Protection

  • Nathan Benefield
  • January 23, 2014

Under current law and contracts, it’s permissible for a school district’s personnel office to act as the collection agent for Political Action Committee contributions and membership dues…

Memo

Read More: Answering the Critics About Paycheck Protection

Government Accountability

Government Unions’ Unfair Political Privilege

  • September 19, 2013

Taxpayer resources should not be used for any political purposes. Every citizen and every organization—including government unions—should have an equal opportunity to engage in policy debates through a level playing field for…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Government Unions’ Unfair Political Privilege

Education

6 Trends in Public School Spending

  • Nathan Benefield, Priya Brannick
  • June 24, 2013

The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently updated files from public schools’ annual financial reports and enrollment reports. Here are six key trends from those data.

Memo

Read More: 6 Trends in Public School Spending

Education

Cyber School Funding in Pennsylvania

  • Elizabeth Stelle, Priya Brannick
  • May 30, 2013

Cyber schools currently spend significantly less per student than school districts and only represent about 1% of spending on public education. Discrepancies in cyber school funding are the result of…

Memo

Read More: Cyber School Funding in Pennsylvania

Taxes & Economy

The Economic Impact of Gov. Corbett’s Proposed Tax Reform

  • Nathan Benefield
  • May 22, 2013

This policy brief utilizes PA-STAMP to estimate the impact of Gov. Corbett’s proposed tax reform package.  Accordingly, by 2017-18, these reforms (compared with current policy) would result in: 1,259 additional…

Fact Sheet

Read More: The Economic Impact of Gov. Corbett’s Proposed Tax Reform