State Budget and Taxes

Setting the Record Straight about PA School Funding Cuts

I wrote a letter to the editor in the Patriot-News and setting the record straight about funding cuts to Pennsylvania schools in recent years. Take a look:

Research is clear that student performance improves with smaller class sizes, rigorous programs, and qualified teachers. Yet since 2011 Pennsylvania has done the opposite, enacting cuts that have increased class sizes, eliminated enrichment programs, and taken tens of thousands of teachers, guidance counselors, and aides out of the classroom.

Business Tax Cuts Slow PA Revenue Growth Creating Future Budget Gaps

The Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released its five-year economic and budget outlook on Thursday, and the picture is not pretty.

Fund PA Transportation Projects with Mix of Cash and Debt Financing

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center put out the following press release Tuesday on testimony I delivered to the Pennsylvania House Finance Committee on transportation funding:

Pennsylvania could significantly increase its long-term investment in roads, bridges, and public transit with a mix of cash and debt financing, testified Sharon Ward, Director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, before a state House committee today.

Corporate Tax Cuts Slowing Year-Over-Year Revenue Growth

The good news first: October General Fund collections exceeded the monthly estimate by $29 million, or 1.4%. For the fiscal year-to-date, the General Fund has a modest revenue surplus of $42 million, or 0.5%.

Much of October's surplus, $20 million of the $29 million, came from corporate tax collections, which fell slightly short of revenue targets in the previous month. Personal income and sales tax receipts also met October targets.

'One-Size-Fits-All' Business Tax Rankings Don't Have PA's Best Interests in Mind

We often see in the news state rankings of business climate that vary widely depending on who is doing the ranking. As Billy Hamilton writes in Monday's State Tax Notes (subscription required), these rankings often have much more to do with the low and no tax preferences of the list writers, like the Tax Foundation, than taking a real look at what's happening in the states:

What’s At Stake for Schools in Property Tax Plan?

The latest proposal to eliminate property taxes in Pennsylvania would leave school districts with $2.6 billion less in overall funding within five years, according to an analysis from the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office. Matthew Knittel of the IFO presented the findings during a Pennsylvania Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday.

A Call for an Education Funding Formula in PA

Sharon Ward of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center joined state policy and budget experts this week for a symposium on school funding in Pennsylvania.

State General Fund Collections on Target Through First Quarter of 2013-14

General Fund collections in September exceeded revenue targets by $15 million, creating a very modest fiscal-year-to-date surplus of $13 million, 0.2% over estimate.

Collections in September are important to monitor as it is the first month of the fiscal year in which significant collections of quarterly personal income and corporate net income taxes are made. So far, so good, as corporate taxes came in $8 million below estimate for the month, while personal income tax collections exceeded estimate by $8 million.

PA House Votes on Property Tax Bills with Important Implications for School Funding

The Pennsylvania House voted on legislation this week that has important implications for public school funding.

PA Budget and Policy Center Launches Redesigned Web Site

In case you missed it last week, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) launched a redesigned web site, making it easier to access the center's analysis, commentaries, blog posts, webinars, and much more. The site has a new look, but more importantly it puts everything you need right at your fingertips:

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