PA Budget

On Tuesday, November 10th, Governor Wolf and legislative leaders announced a budget framework for 2015-16.  While an agreement could be good news, some key issues have not been addressed.

Over the past few years, many other states, similar to Pennsylvania in 2011 and again today, have faced critical choices about whether to raise state revenues, hold firm to “no new taxes” or even cut taxes further. We examine the experience of four other states as well as Pennsylvania. Two of the other states – California and Minnesota – raised taxes to improve their fiscal health and to reinvest in education. The other two states – Kansas and Wisconsin – followed the same path as Pennsylvania under Gov. Corbett, cutting taxes in varying degrees and cutting education spending.

One critical value that should guide tax policy in our view is “revenue adequacy” – having enough revenue to invest in essential public goods, starting with education, and in services critical to quality of life for middle‐ and low‐income families.

"Pennsylvania is now the second largest natural gas producer in the country," testified Research Director Michael Wood before a Senate Joint Committee,"and it is time to end the excuses and enact a real severance tax."  

This brief looks at the different ways property tax relief can be structured in Pennsylvania and why for lower- and middle-income homeowners, homestead relief provides more bang for the buck than millage rate cuts.

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