In his budget address, Governor Wolf observed that Pennsylvania faces a choice of two paths. Taking one path would require us to deal with the reality of our structural deficit and raise revenues to close it. It would enable government to continue to meet its responsibilities to educate our children, serve those who need our help, protect the environment and encourage economic growth. Taking the other path would require us to accept devastating cuts to education and health and human services.
State budget discussions have reached a critical point. The agreed-upon $350 million increase in education funding represents an important step towards the budget Pennsylvania needs. But while the latest proposal to extend the sales tax to more services would raise needed revenues, it would also place too much of the burden on Pennsylvania’s lowest-income families.
Even at the the 11th hour, lawmakers can achieve a better budget – one that reinvests in education and human services, raises adequate revenues in a fairer way, and strengthens families and communities. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center calls on lawmakers to include the following eight proposals in a final budget fit for the holidays.
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Nov. 18, 2015 – Under a budget framework currently being negotiated by Gov. Wolf and legislative leaders, Pennsylvania’s sales tax would be increased to pay for property tax cuts. A new analysis, released today by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, found that the bottom 80 percent of Pennsylvania families – those earning less than $102,000 annually – would provide 63 percent of the revenue produced by raising the sales tax from 6 percent to 7.25 percent, as proposed.
Over the past 48 hours, news report have trickled out about a tentative budget agreement between Republican legislative leaders and the Wolf Administration. Lacking the information for a full analysis, we will instead lay out criteria for evaluating any budget deal; assess what the early information indicates about the likelihood of this tentative budget agreement meeting these criteria; and suggest how the negotiators might improve the budget framework as they further develop its details.
(HARRISBURG, Pa.) -- Sept. 16, 2015 --Harrisburg has become preoccupied with budget process and tactics in recent weeks. But what Pennsylvanians need is a good budget outcome – a budget that reinvests in education, jobs and communities using revenues from a severance tax, provides property tax relief and puts the state’s fiscal house in order.
To refocus attention on the key budget choices that legislators and Gov. Wolf must make, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center launched “Why the Budget Matters – Let’s Count the Ways.”