HARRISBURG, Pa. – Nov. 23, 2015 – The Pennsylvania Senate is expected this week to take up Senate Bill 76, which would eliminate the property taxes used to provide local funding for schools and replace their revenue with a combination of higher sales and income taxes. A new brief from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, released today, compares the property tax cuts promised by SB 76 to the more targeted property tax cut plan in House Bill 504, which passed the state House of Representatives in May, and the property tax cuts proposed by Gov. Wolf in his original budget plan from March, using data for the relatively low-income Reading School District in Berks County and the relatively affluent Wissahickon School District in Montgomery County. The brief also makes available data for reporters to make similar comparisons for any other set of school districts in the state.
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.
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Nov. 11, 2015 -- Dr. Stephen Herzenberg, executive director of the Keystone Research Center, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Marc Stier as the new director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, effective Dec. 1. The PBPC is a project of KRC.
Poorer Districts Continue to Bear Brunt of Cuts; Most Funding Restored in Many Richer Districts
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Nov. 2, 2015 – Nearly two-thirds – or $560 million – of the original $860 million in classroom funding cuts passed in Gov. Corbett’s 2011-12 budget remain in place. The average annual classroom funding cut per student still in place, statewide, is $330. Undermining Educational Opportunity: Pennsylvania’s Unequal Restoration of School Funding, a new brief released by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center today,examines the distribution of the remaining cuts per student by school district and finds large inequities.
Dr. Stephen Herzenberg, executive director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, released the following statement in response to today’s vote in the state House of Representatives on Gov. Wolf’s revenue package:
"Pennsylvania needs a fiscally responsible 2015-16 state budget that reinvests in education and raises the revenue needed to balance the state books. That would be easier to do with a drilling tax, which voters support.
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Oct. 7, 2015 -- A diverse coalition of groups -- including unions, human service organizations and environmental and educational advocates – urged members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to vote today for Gov. Wolf’s revenue package. At a 10 a.m. press conference in the Capitol Rotunda before the vote, speakers said the commonwealth needs more revenue to reinvest in education, restart the state’s economy, fund vital programs for vulnerable Pennsylvanians and balance the budget.
The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center urges members of Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives to support the revenue package coming up for consideration today in their chamber. Voting for the package requires both political courage to do the difficult but right thing and common sense to see the obvious. Pennsylvania needs more revenue coming in to meet its obligations, close its structural deficit, protect its vulnerable citizens and make the kind of investment in education that voters want and every school child deserves.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (Sept. 29, 2015) -- The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center issued the following statement, by Executive Director Stephen Herzenberg, after Gov. Wolf vetoed today the stopgap budget sent to him by the legislature:
“Gov. Wolf did the right thing in vetoing the stopgap budget. Short-term, inadequate funding for schools and human services would eliminate any pressure on the legislature to shift from the failed policies of the past four years that undermined educational opportunity, sabotaged the state’s economic recovery and left the state’s fiscal house in disorder.