Unintended Consequences? Property Tax Elimination Increases Taxes on the Middle Class to Reduce Taxes for high income families

The budget end game has focused a lot on property tax cuts. The budget framework agreement includes property tax relief, the allocation of which has not yet been worked out. And now the Pennsylvania Senate will consider SB 76, a bill to eliminate school property taxes early next week. Property tax elimination would be paid for by raising the sales tax rate to 7 percent and expanding it to cover more services, and by raising the personal income tax rate to 4.34 percent.

October Payrolls Up Overall but Down in Mining, Logging and Schools

This morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania was down slightly to 5.1 percent, and nonfarm payrolls were up by 13,700 jobs last month, each from their respective September levels.

After two months of declines in nonfarm payrolls, the return to growth in October was  a welcome change.

Who Pays For An Increase in the Sales Tax: Analysis of the Tax Incidence of an Increase in the Sales Tax from 6% to 7.25%

Today we released new analysis of the tax incidence of a proposal to raise the state sales tax rate from 6% to 7.25%.  Gov. Wolf and legislative leaders are currently negotiating over the terms of a plan to cut property taxes which would be financed by this sales tax increase.

What's It to Be on Property Tax Relief, PA Lawmakers? Reverse Robin Hood or Relief for Renters and Middle-Class Homeowners

This is an appeal to legislators in rural parts of Pennsylvania and in high-property tax areas such as the Poconos: we think that the evidence shows clearly that your constituents would benefit more from distributing the property tax relief promised by the tentative budget framework in a fair way, including a rebate for renters. There is a danger, however, that this relief will be distributed in an unfair way, without a renter rebate and with much tax relief going to businesses and high-income homeowners.

The Severance Tax & the Budget: Flat on Our Backs Again?

Will Charlie Brown end up on his back again as Lucy whisks the football from the tee?

PA Liquor Control Board Transfer of Nearly $550 Million to State Coffers in 2014-15 No Fairy Tale

A new financial report for 2014-15 reveals that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is still a cash cow that delivers more than half a billion dollars annually to commonwealth coffers. Pennsylvania taxpayers and state legislators should remain wary of anyone offering magic beans for this cash cow – an exchange more likely to leave Pennsylvania’s finances in bleaker shape than to produce the payoff magic beans did in the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale.

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