Reports & Briefing Papers

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center produces a variety of reports, policy briefs, and other publications on state budget and tax policy, health care policy, education policy, poverty and public welfare, the economy, and several related issues. Below is an archive of all PBPC publications to date.

Browse by Issue: You can also browse PBPC publications by the following issue areas:

Tax and Budget     |     Education     |     Health and Family Security     |     PA Economy     |     Democracy

October 24, 2014

Pennsylvania enacted deep cuts to funding for public higher education since 2010-11. Even before these cuts, Pennsylvania ranked low among states in funding for higher education and in the affordability of public higher education. This report summarizes key insights from the economic research literature on the importance of higher education and presents basic information on Pennsylvania’s investment in higher education. 

October 14, 2014

The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) will end family planning coverage for almost 90,000 low income women currently enrolled in SelectPlan for Women, most of whom will be eligible for comprehensive health care coverage through Healthy Pennsylvania. Rather than ending the SelectPlan waiver, DPW should transition eligible SelectPlan enrollees into Healthy Pennsylvania and continue to offer SelectPlan as a choice for women who are not Medicaid expansion-eligible.

October 2, 2014

Property taxes are high in some Pennsylvania school districts, but PBPC’s new report, "Reform, Not Repeal: Pennsylvania Can Provide Property Tax Relief and Protect Public Schools," reveals that compared to the national average and neighboring states, property taxes are moderate in most communities.

August 15, 2014

Several American cities have raised cigarette taxes as a public health measure and to generate local revenue for cash-strapped programs. These taxes are not as regressive as once assumed and can be an important part of a local funding package. Philadelphia has requested authorization from the General Assembly to add a $2 per pack tax on cigarettes sold in the city to raise an estimated $70-$90 million  for its public schools.

July 18, 2014

Once Upon a Time: An Analysis of the 2014-15 General Assembly Approved Budget

The $29.0 billion 2014-15 state General Fund budget enacted earlier this month fails to confront Pennsylvania’s serious revenue problems. Lawmakers pretended that the half billion dollar revenue shortfall in 2013-14 did not exist and “balanced” the 2014-15 budget with one-time transfers, accounting tricks, and phantom revenues.

June 27, 2014

The budget approved by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on June 25 made significant changes to the Governor’s proposed allocations to school districts and charter schools. The House budget eliminates a $241 increase to school districts and charter schools offered in the Governor’s Ready to Learn Block Grant, replacing it with a $70 million basis education increase, which is a 71% reduction from the Governor’s original proposed increase. This analysis compares each school district’s Ready to Learn allocation with that proposed by the House.

June 9, 2014

The market value of natural gas produced in Pennsylvania exceeded $11.8 billion in 2013 yet natural gas producers pay among the lowest effective production tax rates in the country. Companies paid $223 million in impact fee for gas produced in 2013, for an effective tax rate of less than 1.9%.

This report examines school funding in Pennsylvania, focusing on the city of Philadelphia and on other low-income school districts. The report highlights recent funding cuts, and the policy choices that led to these cuts. The end of the report suggests some alternative – and better – choices that Pennsylvania might make regarding state school funding and tax policies going forward.

Monthly archive