Pennsylvania

How Pennsylvania should not raise revenues this year

The proposals to raise taxes Pennsylvania legislators are considering this year are, to far too large an extent, not real, not recurring, and not fair. Here’s what’s wrong with the liquor, gaming, tax amnesty, and tobacco revenue ideas.

The Emperor's new liquor stores

The Emperor’s new liquor stores

Originally published at Third and State, June 28, 2016 Act 39 flew through the House of Representatives and was signed by Governor Wolf too fast for us, and many others, to object. If we had a chance, we would have pointed out, as the IFO did soon after passage, that the estimates of new revenue […]

School funding: what one hand gives another one takes away

School funding: what one hand gives another one takes away

Originally posted at Third and State, June 29, 2016 As this dispiriting budget season ends, advocates for education could at least be grateful that the General Assembly seems poised to increase basic education funding by $200 million. This is far less than the $400 million necessary to put us on a path towards overcoming massive […]

Revenue options real and fake: a minimum wage increase and gaming

Revenue options real and fake: a minimum wage increase and gaming

Originally posted at Third and State. Ten years ago was the last time Pennsylvania raised the minimum wage in advance of the federal government doing so. In those ten years, inflation has reduced the value of the minimum wage to a poverty wage. That’s why it’s time to raise it again, ultimately to $15 an […]

Some things are worse than a late budget

Some things are worse than a late budget

From the Third and State blog. As the June 30th deadline looms, we have little more than rumors about what kind of Pennsylvania budget might be enacted by the General Assembly for 2016-17. But while some may find optimism in talk of getting the budget done, the rumors we are hearing about the details of […]

Finally: waste, fraud, and abuse!

Originally appeared on the Third and State blog, May 24, 2016 After ribbing Senator Wagner and his fellow members of the taxpayer caucus for not understanding the basics of budgeting, I want to acknowledge that they did come up with a really good idea today. It appears that the Pennsylvania State Police take two sheets […]

How to create a progressive income tax in Pennsylvania

Originally appeared s How to create a progressive income tax in Pennsylvania, in Newsworks, May 24. So, it turns out that you can actually create a fair income tax in Pennsylvania. One of the unfortunate conditions of Pennsylvania politics has been our “uniformity clause,” which prohibits taxing any one class of income at different rates. It has […]

#Namethecuts

Originally published at Third and State, April 4, 2016 It appears that some elements in the Republican Party of Pennsylvania have one and only one goal – to not raise taxes. It doesn’t matter if spending in our classrooms, and especially in the classrooms in our lowest income communities, have not recovered from the Corbett […]

Why Governor Wolf Should Veto the Republican Budget....Again

Why Governor Wolf Should Veto the Republican Budget….Again

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Wolf, Legislators, and School Advocates Must Stand Together for PA Education

Originally published at Newworks, March 16, 2016 We are heading into a critical time in the seemingly endless Pennsylvania budget crisis. This is the moment when Pennsylvanians must stand strong for a budget that is not only done but done right. And that means a budget that finally, after years of deep cuts and shallow restorations, […]