Taxes & Economy

Pennsylvanians Flee from High Taxes

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • May 4, 2016

New census figures paint a sobering picture. In 2015 alone, Pennsylvania lost 41,600 residents to other states in net migration. This amounts to one person every 12.5 minutes, nearly…

Memo

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Education

Governor Wolf’s 2015-16 Budget Myths

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • April 13, 2016

Governor Wolf claimed the 2015-16 budget could not be balanced without significant tax hikes. But there are two ways exist to close a budget deficit: raise revenue or cut spending.

Memo

Read More: Governor Wolf’s 2015-16 Budget Myths

Education

Education Spending Trends: April 2016

  • James Paul
  • April 11, 2016

Pennsylvania’s FY 2015-16 budget was finalized in late March when Gov. Tom Wolf allowed HB 1801, a supplemental funding bill, to become law. This legislation appropriated an additional $3.1 billion…

Memo

Read More: Education Spending Trends: April 2016

Public Union Democracy

8 Labor Reforms to Protect Public Workers and Taxpayers

  • April 6, 2016

Pennsylvania's labor laws and practices heavily favor union executives at the expense of public employees and taxpayers. To level the playing field, state lawmakers should work to eliminate the host of…

Memo

Read More: 8 Labor Reforms to Protect Public Workers and Taxpayers

State Budget

Governor Wolf’s Natural Gas Tax Proposal

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • March 2, 2016

Governor Wolf continues to press for a natural gas severance tax despite ongoing layoffs and potential bankruptcies in the natural gas industry.

Fact Sheet

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Regulation

The Costs of Corporate Welfare

  • March 2, 2016

Of the last 46 state budgets, only one did not increase total spending. This explosion has been fueled in part by special subsidies doled out to select businesses, creating an economic…

Fact Sheet

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Public Union Democracy

How Pennsylvania’s Labor Laws Trap Union Members

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • February 25, 2016

Pennsylvania's labor laws keep union members in the dark. Union members rarely have the opportunity to voice their opinion through elections or resign their membership. A lack of transparency makes…

Memo

Read More: How Pennsylvania’s Labor Laws Trap Union Members

Education

Pennsylvania Education Spending Trends

  • James Paul
  • February 8, 2016

Pennsylvania school districts spent $26.1 billion in 2013-14, an all-time high, according to the latest data from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. This represents a $600 million increase from 2012-13.

Memo

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State Budget

A Brief History of Wolf’s Tax Hikes

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 8, 2016

In 2015, Gov. Tom Wolf proposed five broad-based tax hikes on working families—each of which was eventually rejected by state lawmakers.  Here's some background on each of Gov. Wolf’s tax…

Memo

Read More: A Brief History of Wolf’s Tax Hikes

Education

Redesigning Government to Balance State and Local Budgets

  • February 8, 2016

Pennsylvania taxpayers shoulder the 15th highest state and local tax burden in the country. Consequently, the Keystone State has seen an exodus of working people. Unsustainable growth in…

Memo

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State Budget

How Does Pennsylvania’s Tax Burden Compare?

  • February 8, 2016

Pennsylvania currently has the 15th highest state and local tax burden in the country. Yet Gov. Wolf proposed historic tax hikes last year and continues to press for tax increases. Here’s an…

Fact Sheet

Read More: How Does Pennsylvania’s Tax Burden Compare?

State Budget

Reversing the Status Quo in Pennsylvania

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 8, 2016

Higher government spending and raising taxes—while ignoring key fiscal reforms—is the status quo in Pennsylvania. For 45 years, government spending has steadily risen, increasing by an inflation-adjusted $13,800 per family of four or $3,450…

Memo

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America Works Ad Buy

  • January 25, 2016

  Since the end of December, the union-backed political group America Works USA has spent more than 1.1 million to air misleading ads slamming the state budget…

Poll

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Public Union Democracy

The Undemocratic Nature of Government Unions

  • January 21, 2016

The Pennsylvania Public Employee Relations Act (PERA) entrenches compulsory unionism among public sector workers. It stacks the deck in favor of powerful union executives, limiting state workers and teachers…

Fact Sheet

Read More: The Undemocratic Nature of Government Unions

Public Union Democracy

Bringing Democracy to Pennsylvania Labor Unions

  • Priya Brannick
  • January 19, 2016

In the public’s eyes, labor unions have traditionally been the voice of working people. However, a closer look at how unions run their own…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Bringing Democracy to Pennsylvania Labor Unions

Government Accountability

Union Political Spending in the 2015 Pennsylvania Elections

  • Nathan Benefield
  • November 12, 2015

The problem isn't that unions give a lot, or even that they dominate political spending. The problem is that government union dues and campaign contributions are collected at taxpayer expense…

Memo

Read More: Union Political Spending in the 2015 Pennsylvania Elections

State Budget

Four Things to Know about Wolf’s September Tax Increase Proposal

  • Nathan Benefield
  • October 1, 2015

On September 11, 2015, Gov. Tom Wolf presented legislative leaders with a second tax increase proposal—totaling$1.8 billion for the 2015-16 budget year, and a $3.2 billion net increase in 2016-17,…

Memo

Read More: Four Things to Know about Wolf’s September Tax Increase Proposal

Regulation

Analysis of Governor Wolf’s Budget Compromise

  • September 30, 2015

On September 16, 28 days after receiving a budget compromise proposal from legislative Republicans, Gov. Wolf rejected that offer and issued his own plan—to hire a private contractor to manage the government…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Analysis of Governor Wolf’s Budget Compromise

Public Union Democracy

Bringing Democracy to Pennsylvania Labor Unions

  • Priya Brannick
  • September 22, 2015

Government unions play a large role in influencing public spending and policies at the state and local level, but they are surprisingly undemocratic within their own organizations. The practice of…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Bringing Democracy to Pennsylvania Labor Unions

Taxes & Economy

Governor Wolf’s Proposed Natural Gas Extraction Tax

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • August 24, 2015

Gov. Tom Wolf proposed a new severance tax on natural gas extraction, which he claims will generate more than $1 billion annually for public schools. The proposal fails to consider…

Memo

Read More: Governor Wolf’s Proposed Natural Gas Extraction Tax