There has been a lot of talk about Pennsylvania's high rate of spending over the past few years. The facts tell a different story. General Fund spending in Pennsylvania is below the national average and has been for 18 of the last 20 years.
In the weeks leading up to Governor Corbett's budget address on March 8, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center will be releasing a series of briefs shining a light on specific budget topics in what we hope is an interesting way. We launched February Fiscal Facts this week with a brief comparing the state's General Fund spending over time to the U.S. average.
Measured as a share of personal income, Pennsylvania state General Fund spending has ranged from 4.9% to 5.6%, which has been at or below the national average in all but two years.
We also spend less than most of our neighbors. In 2009-10, Pennsylvania ranked 24th, lower than five of our six neighboring states. On average, this means that Pennsylvania spends one-sixth less than its neighbors on the General Fund.