State Budget and Taxes

May Revenues Above Estimate But Still Lag Governor's February Projections

General Fund revenue collections exceeded estimate in May and remain ahead for the fiscal year with only one month to go. While this is good news, it appears that this year’s revenue surplus is unlikely to reach the $232 million forecast back in February by the Corbett administration.

PA School Leaders Come to Harrisburg

Ron Williams, Pottstown School BoardSchool district and county officials from across Pennsylvania came to Harrisburg Tuesday with a message for state lawmakers: prioritize investments in our schools, county health services, and infrastructure over new tax cuts.

Video: Closing Loopholes and Investing in a Better Pennsylvania

I wanted to share a video of my appearance last night on the PCN Call-In Program with Representative Dave Reed where we discussed business taxes in Pennsylvania.

While both Representative Reed and I agreed that it is important to close corporate tax loopholes, I made the case for a more comprehensive approach to doing so and for using the revenue it would raise to invest in schools and the public services that will help our economy to grow.

I said it is vitally important to look at coprorate taxes as a whole, which have been cut significantly over the past decade without much job growth to show for it. But what we have seen are devastating cuts to communities and higher local property taxes.

Watch the video below or at this link.

Today's the Day

Today's the day. It's the start of our statewide call to action as lawmakers near the final stages of the state budget process. Hundreds of Pennsylvanians will call their state House Representative today or Tuesday to urge them to restore funding for schools and human services instead of making new tax cuts for businesses.

What You Need to Know About House Budget Plan

Pennsylvania House Republican leaders today introduced a 2013-14 budget that is $100 million less than what Governor Tom Corbett proposed in February. Overall, the $28.3 billion plan cuts $230 million in spending proposed by the Governor, shifting nearly $130 million of the savings to other budget priorities.

Did They or Didn't They? Education Funding Cuts in PA

School boards, superintendents, and parents across Pennsylvania have been voicing their concerns about state cuts to education budgets, while the Governor talks about unprecedented education spending. So what is the truth?

Watch the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's recent webinar to make sense of it all. The webinar features Michael Wood, Research Director for the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center; Jim Buckheit, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators; Kelli Thompson, Government Relations Director for Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children; and Beth Olanoff, Director of the Pennsylvania League of Urban Schools. 

Morning Must Read: House GOP Budget to Trim $100 Million from Governor's February Proposal

House Republican leaders will hold a press conference at 11:30 a.m. this morning to unveil their plan for the 2013-14 state budget. The Allentown Morning Call is reporting this morning that the bill will be $100 million less than the $28.4 billion budget proposed by Governor Tom Corbett in February:

Third and State This Week: Costly Pensions Plan, a Tax Cut that Should Be Delayed, Pittsburgh’s Economy & More

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the problems with the Governor’s pension plan, how critical the expansion of Medicaid health coverage is for low-income working families in Pennsylvania, why the state should delay a planned corporate tax cut, and a new report on how Pittsburgh’s economy is doing better than other neighboring rust-belt cities.


  • On pensions, Stephen Herzenberg shared his Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed explaining that the Governor’s pension proposal will increase the state's pension debt and cost taxpayers more.
  • On health care, Jamar Thrasher blogged that if Pennsylvania rejects federal dollars to expand Medicaid, many of the state’s low-income working families will have nowhere to turn for health coverage.
  • With state budget action likely to pick up after Memorial Day, Chris Lilienthal blogged that policymakers should delay the planned phaseout of a corporate tax in order to preserve critical investments that make Pennsylvania a good place to live and do business.
  • On the economy, Jamar Thrasher wrote about a new study finding Pittsburgh's economy has fared better than neighboring rust-belt cities Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit.



  • Join the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on Tuesday, May 28 from 4 to 5 p.m. for a webinar on education funding in Pennsylvania. Learn more and register to participate.
  • Join the Keystone Research Center and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on Thursday, June 13 for our Annual Awards Dinner at the Hilton Harrisburg. Learn more and purchase tickets.

Pittsburgh Fares Better Than Other Rust-Belt Cities Thanks to Education

From 1970 through 2006, rust-belt cities Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh have all seen a considerable decline in neighborhood population, but Pittsburgh has fared better than the rest.

The Quiet Before the Storm

The State Capitol is quiet this week, but things will pick up quickly after the Memorial Day Weekend. Pennsylvania House leaders expect to introduce a 2013-14 budget bill on Tuesday, with a vote to follow the week of June 10.

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