June 9, 2016 |
AFTER WRITING recently about a Tax Foundation book on Pennsylvania's taxes, I got lots of input from lots of places. Most underscored the book's main point: Reform is needed. So, as Harrisburg works on another state budget, I figured I'd offer some examples of taxes gone awry. ONE: Our personal income tax (PIT) of 3.07 percent is second-lowest among states that levy a PIT. Seven don't. But that's deceptive. We've also got 2,500 municipalities and 500 school districts piling on local income taxes, which most other states do not have.
May 24, 2016 |
THINK Pennsylvania taxes should be fairer, more sensible? Think every sector of the economy should be taxed equally? Think our CNI (corporate net income) tax rate, the nation's second highest, has anything to do with a job-growth ranking of 41st among states? Well, a new book, Pennsylvania Illustrated: A Visual Guide to Taxes & the Economy , dips into the complex stew of state tax structure and suggests ours could use some stirring. The gist? Our evolution over 50 years from a goods-based economy to a service economy hasn't been matched by our tax system, which pretty much stayed the same.
May 10, 2016
By Pete Sepp and Matthew Brouillette In the run-up to Pennsylvania's primary elections, one presidential candidate condemned Philadelphia's proposed soda tax, saying, "A tax on soda and juice drinks would disproportionately increase taxes on low-income families in Philadelphia. " You might expect this to come from the tax-averse Republican Sen. Ted Cruz or business-friendly Donald Trump - but you'd be wrong. It was Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-styled champion of the little guy who is unafraid to back tax increases.
March 12, 1998 |
Advocates of radical changes in the federal tax system are busy these days trying to convince the American people that their paychecks are about to be devoured by the U.S. government. "The typical family pays more than 38 percent of its income in taxes. That's nearly 40 cents of every dollar," said Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott in his response to President Clinton's State of the Union address. "That's not just bad policy. It's immoral. " It's also just plain wrong, say analysts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based liberal research group.
April 21, 2010 |
HERE'S THE news from the New York Times on the day before Tax Day: "Forty-seven percent. That's the portion of American households that owe no income tax for 2009. The number is up from 38 percent in 2007. " Given that nine-point jump in no-pays in just two years, it looks as if it won't be long before a solid majority of American households are taking out more than they're putting in when it comes to federal income tax monies. Here's the problem. Paying zero, what's their incentive to keep from pushing for bigger spending on every federal boondoggle that's funded by the income tax, no matter how wasteful or crooked the project?
April 27, 2016
Nathan Benefield is vice president of policy for the Commonwealth Foundation Conservatives loathe government handouts. Liberals denounce special favors to corporations. One thing can unify these two sides: ending Pennsylvania's budget-busting corporate-welfare handouts. Every year, state government gives millions in taxpayer dollars to favored businesses under the guise of "economic development. " In reality, these giveaways represent political development, enriching special interests and their well-connected lobbyists.
May 1, 1988 |
Paul Gann, now 75, who with the late Howard Jarvis founded a tax-reform movement on the West Coast, will celebrate next month the 10-year anniversary of Proposition 13, which has lopped off an estimated $75 billion in California property taxes since it passed overwhelmingly in 1978. That's the good news. On Thursday, there will be another kind of celebration, this one, however, marking the ignominious liberation of the average American from the tax bite. The Tax Foundation in Washington calls it Tax Freedom Day, the day when Americans start working for themselves, having satisfied the requirements of federal, state and local taxes.
March 7, 2012 |
HERE'S a headline that's sure not to boost investment and job creation in Pennsylvania: "Wyoming First, Pennsylvania Worst In Business Taxes. " It's a recent headline on the front page of Investor's Business Daily , read nationally by precisely the people who make the decisions about the location of job-creating capital investments and business expansions. "An executive looking for a place to locate his company might do well to consider Wyoming," begins the article.
February 27, 2015 |
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Gov. Wolf on Wednesday proposed cutting the state corporate net income tax rate in half by 2018, a step he said would allow Pennsylvania to move from the nation's second-highest rate to one of its lowest. Unveiling pieces of his economic plan to Lehigh Valley business leaders, Wolf called for gradually reducing the corporate net income tax from 9.99 percent to 4.99 percent, and eliminating the already-expiring capital stock and franchise tax. Wolf also said he wanted to implement "combined reporting," a concept in which the state could tax a multistate corporation's total revenue, not just its Pennsylvania earnings.