Pennsylvania State Budget

Millionaire Tax Didn't Chase the Rich From Jersey, So Why Not a Higher Tax Rate on Pa.'s Top Earners?

A blog post from Stephen Herzenberg, originally published on Third and State.

Anti-tax advocates maintain that higher tax rates on the wealthy lead to millionaire flight. But a study of a 2004 “millionaire tax” in New Jersey shows that, in fact, the rich don’t move to avoid higher taxes.

Third and State This Week: Closing Loopholes, a Flawed School Vouchers Plan and More

This week, we blogged about closing tax loopholes on Tax Day, a deeply flawed school vouchers plan in the state Senate, Governor Corbett's claims about property taxes in Texas, and much more.

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Yes, Governor, Texas Levies Property Taxes

A blog post from Michael Wood, originally published on Third and State.

The Patriot-News reports that Governor Corbett, speaking to a meeting of township commissioners Monday, said: “Texas doesn’t have a personal income tax. Texas doesn’t have a property tax. So when we’re talking about taxes, don’t you think we ought to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges?"

Despite Changes, Senate Voucher Plan Deeply Flawed

A blog post from Stephen Herzenberg, originally published on Third and State.

Next week, the Pennsylvania Senate may take up an amended plan to create the largest-in-the nation private school vouchers program.

While Senate Bill 1 was amended last week, the bill remains deeply flawed.

Despite capping part of the cost, the program will be expensive, with costs approaching half a billion dollars within three years.

'Close the Tax Loopholes' Day

Today is Tax Day, but perhaps we should rename it "Close the Tax Loopholes Day." That is the message delivered by Sharon Ward, Director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, in an op-ed in Friday's edition of The Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Here's a highlight:

Many Pennsylvanians will grumble this week as they race to file their tax returns on time. Others will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Take General Electric, the nation's largest corporation. You would expect G.E. to have a pretty sizeable tax bill, right? Think again.

Despite worldwide profits of $14.2 billion (including $5.1 billion in U.S. profits), G.E. owed Uncle Sam nothing in federal taxes. In fact, the company got $3.2 billion back in tax benefits.

In Case You Missed It: Third and State Blog for Week of April 11

This week, we blogged about  adultBasic and (Not So) Special Care, a lack of accountability in the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program, a fact check on claims about gas drilling in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, and much more.

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Fact Checking Claims About Pennsylvania and West Virginia Drilling

Pennsylvania's Acting Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser told lawmakers in a budget hearing last month that only 20 Marcellus Shale gas wells have been drilled in West Virginia since that state enacted a drilling tax, while Pennsylvania has had more than 600 such wells drilled.

As we explained in a recent policy brief, that’s not quite accurate.

According to World Oil Online, West Virginia led the nation in new gas wells in 2010, along with Texas and Arkansas — all of which have drilling taxes. Pennsylvania, without a drilling tax, came in sixth, with 833 new wells.

Not So Special Care

A blog post from Sharon Ward, originally published on Third and State.

It has been just about six weeks since the adultBasic program came to an end, leaving 42,000 Pennsylvanians without affordable health insurance coverage. Governor Corbett ended the program, claiming that the state, and the Blues, were too poor to continue funding it.

Never mind that the Governor took $220 million in health care money to create a new business loan fund, or that Highmark just keeps raking in the dough. (More about that later.)

Growing the Revenue Pie

On Wednesday, educators, students, advocates for women and domestic violence victims, faith groups and others delivered pies to all 253 of our state lawmakers in Harrisburg. Yes, pies.

The event, organized by the Better Choices for Pennsylvania Coalition, brought this group together to deliver a simple message to lawmakers: Grow the state's revenue pie by closing tax loopholes and ending special interest tax breaks. A cuts-only budget is going to hurt middle-class families and drive up local property taxes.

Below the fold is a 4-minute video highlighting the best of the speakers to join us for the Capitol press conference. Take a few minutes to watch it — then check out the Better Choices web site to learn how you can help send a message to your lawmakers about growing the revenue pie.

In Case You Missed It: Third and State Blog for Week of April 4

This week, we blogged about oppressive regimes and income inequality, what the top CEOs are making these days and calls this week for state lawmakers to grow the revenue pie.

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In Case You Missed It: Third and State Blog for Week of March 28

Senator Jeff Piccola expanding school vouchers concept to include Pennsylvanians trapped in low-performing families? A state worker stunned to learn her mid-level administrative job is no pathways to riches? A Corbett speechwriter struck with a rare illness afflicting writers of overwrought clichés?

Either Friday was a particularly zany news day — or it was the first of April!

In Third and State's Friday Funny, we passed on an April Fool's take on the latest un-news coming out of Harrisburg. (Our thanks to a loyal blog reader for passing this one along.)

In other news last week, we blogged about the taxes gas drillers do (or don't) pay, why the minimum wage matters, imaginative tax avoidance strategies, and much more!

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In Case You Missed It: Third and State Blog for Week of March 21

This week on Third and State, we blogged about Marcellus Shale trickle down economics, the Affordable Care Act's first birthday, unions and inequality, and much more!

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In Case You Missed It: Third and State Blog for Week of March 14

This week on Third and State, we blogged about the state budget, privatization, fruit salad (really?), and much more!

In case you missed it:

In Case You Missed It: Third and State Blog for Week of March 7

This week on Third and State, we blogged about Governor Corbett's state budget proposal, ways to grow the economy and promote broadly shared prosperity, "Mad Men" who like fast trains, and much more!

In case you missed it:

In Case You Missed It: Third and State Blog for Week of February 28

This week on Third and State, we blogged about the upcoming state budget, the end of adultBasic, a questionable business climate ranking, and much more!

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