Publications

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center produces a variety of reports, policy briefs, and other publications on state budget and tax policy, health care policy, education policy, poverty and public welfare, the economy, and several related issues. Below is an archive of all PBPC publications to date.

Browse by Issue: You can also browse PBPC publications by the following issue areas:

Tax and Budget     |     Education     |     Health and Family Security     |     PA Economy     |     Democracy

December 14, 2015 (Harrisburg, Pa.) – In a memo to members of the state House of Representatives, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center Director Marc Stier urged the General Assembly to "live up to fundamental democratic norms and strip provisions added to the Fiscal and School Codes at the last minute and behind closed doors."

In a democracy, public policy is ideally made after extensive public deliberation and debate. Deals made in private and announced at the last minute make it impossible for citizens to understand and evaluate the actions of their legislators or for advocates to mobilize citizen opinion on the critical issues of the day. Unfortunately, the last few days have given us two striking examples of the failure to live up to this fundamental democratic norm.

As of December 10, 2015, the 2015-16 Pennsylvania Budget is still not done. Two different budgets are now before the General Assembly. In this brief, we provide an overview of the differences between the two budgets, looking first at critical differences in spending for education and human services, then at the impact of those differences, and finally at some subtleties in how the two budgets organize  and present certain spending choices they have in common and how this affects the bottom line budget numbers

Harrisburg, Pa. (December 8, 2015) – Marc Stier, Director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, made the following statement in response to the Pennsylvania House’s passage of House Bill 1460: "To no one’s surprise, the House Republicans today adopted a partisan budget that does little to help either school children or those who need human services in Pennsylvania."

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Dec. 4, 2015 – Pennsylvania legislators appear to be focusing on expanding the sales tax base instead of raising the sales tax rate as a way to secure new revenues for the Pennsylvania budget. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) has released a policy brief, “Expanding the Sales Tax in an Equitable Way” that calls for legislators to expand the sales tax in a way that is fair to low- and moderate-income Pennsylvania families.

HARRISBURG, Pa.Dec. 2, 2015 – The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) called today for legislators to adopt a final budget “fit for the holidays.” To attain these goals, PBPC calls on lawmakers to include the following eight proposals:

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.

With ongoing negotiations over the state budget focused on property tax cuts, and the State Senate taking up a bill to eliminate property taxes, this briefing paper compares property tax elimination with two more targeted approaches that would reduce, but not eliminate property taxes: the Republican proposal that passed the Pennsylvania House in May (House Bill 504) and Gov. Wolf’s original proposal from March.

We find that property tax elimination would raise taxes on the middle class to give wealthy homeowners and businesses in wealthy communities a tax break. Both targeted approaches would be better for the middle class, but the Wolf proposal would be the best for moderate-income homeowners and would also cut non-residential property taxes the most in lower-income communities, a potential boost to community revitalization.

Monthly archive