Posts by diana polson

Tax Freedom Day? Not Really.

Every year the Tax Foundation, a conservative think tank, releases a report about “Tax Freedom Day,” a made-up day of the year that indicates when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay this year’s federal, state, and local taxes. This year, the report says, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 16, 2019.

Pennsylvania’s Tax Structure Worsens Income Inequality, the Racial Wealth Gap and Contributes to our Revenue Inadequacy

State tax systems across the United States vary tremendously in their structure, resulting in varied impacts on income inequality, racial wealth disparities, and revenue adequacy. As the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy’s new report shows, states with no personal income tax or a flat personal income tax rate tend to fare the worst.

ANALYSIS: One Year Later, the Tax Cut and [Con] Jobs Act

December 17th marked the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s “Tax Cut and Jobs Act.” While we knew the impact of this legislation would mean more money shifting upwards into the hands of the already wealthy and large corporations, we have new data, thanks to the Americans for Tax Fairness, corroborating that reality.

Pennsylvania’s Terrible Tax Code Asks More Of You As You Make Less: Hitting Community’s of Color Especially Hard

The Commonwealth once again claims its spot in the “Terrible 10” most unfair tax structures in the nation. The lowest 20% of income earners in the state pays more than double (2.3 times) their share of family income on state and local taxes than the top 1%.

2017 Census Release: Health Care Coverage in Pennsylvania

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By Shelley Aragoncillo and Diana Polson

The number of Pennsylvania’s uninsured hovers around 5.5% of the state’s population, nearly half of what it was in 2010 before the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of Medicaid.

The General Assembly Budget Mirrors Many of the Governor’s Priorities But Does Not Go Far Enough

The House and Senate have now passed a $32.7-billion state budget — $281 million less than the governor’s proposed budget, which is expected to be passed on to the Senate next week. The General Assembly budget passed easily and proposed no new tax increases or fees.

The Trump Administration’s Newest About-Face: Seeking to Dismantle Protections for Those with Pre-Existing Conditions

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In a move in line with Trump’s typical bait-and-switch — purporting to be a defender of the American working class but then doing everything he can to shift power and wealth upwards — he and his Justice Department have decided not to defend the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) protection for those with pre-existing conditions. The pre-existing conditions provision is arguably the most popular piece of the ACA which ensures that insurance companies cannot deny, limit or overcharge anyone who has a pre-existing condition.

Pennsylvania State Government’s To-Do List: June 2018

There seems to be an overall optimism among state legislators that the Pennsylvania budget will pass on time given the positive revenue numbers in the state, a straight-forward budget proposal by the governor, and no haunting budget deficit to overcome like in years past. That said, the details of what said budget will look like have not been shared.

To help legislators stay focused on what is most important to Pennsylvanians throughout the Commonwealth, we have put together a list of four to-dos:

- Increase state funding for education at all levels.

- Pass a severance tax.

- Increase the minimum wage.

- Stop harmful work requirements attached to SNAP and Medicaid.

Bipartisan Senate Farm Bill Aims to Strengthen SNAP, Not Undermine it Like the House’s Proposed Bill

Last Friday, June 8, the Senate Agricultural Committee came out with its plan for the Senate Farm Bill. Keeping with the Farm Bill’s long tradition of bipartisan support, this version was released by the Senate Agricultural chairman Pat Roberts, a Republican from Kansas and the ranking member Debbie Stabenow who is a Democratic senator from Michigan. Unlike the House version of the bill which included harmful work requirements connected to SNAP, the Senate Farm bill would reauthorize SNAP and make steps toward improving it.

A Step Towards Pay Equity in Pennsylvania

Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order yesterday aimed at combating pay equity in Pennsylvania. The order, called “Equal Pay for Employees of the Commonwealth,” prohibits employers in state government from asking applicants for their salary history in an effort to steer employers away from reinforcing pay inequities between men and women.