Posts by marc stier

This is Not Normal

It is hard to look at politics in America without being afraid for our future. Everywhere we look, we see extremist movements that reject common standards of argument and evidence that are willing to say anything to advance their cause and that will not compromise even at the cost of creating a public disaster. 

On HB/SB 76 — Property Tax Elimination in PA

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As we point out in our previous post, some people believe that the constitutional amendment on the ballot in November would make it easier to enact some version of the property tax elimination proposal, HB /SB 76. We are not sure that this is true. But if it were true, we would certainly oppose the constitutional amendment because HB / SB 76 is possibly the worst policy proposal we’ve ever encountered. 

On Joint Resolution 1, the Constitutional Amendment on Property Taxes

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We are getting a lot of questions about what the constitutional amendment on the ballot this year means and where the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center stands on it.

We haven’t rushed to judgment on it for a couple of reasons. First, we are not convinced that this amendment will, by itself, have much impact on policy in the state. And second, given that any amendment to the Constitution is important, we wanted to make sure we understood all the implications of it before reaching a conclusion.

In Truth, The PA Budget Is Still Not Done

A quick take

If the governor signs the tax and fiscal code bills passed this week, or allows them to become law, a funding plan for the Pennsylvania Budget for 2017-2018 that technically allows for a balanced budget will be complete. But the work of the General Assembly is not finished because this funding plan not only fails to address the long-term budget problems faced by the state, it deepens those problems. The result will be that the fiscal year beginning in July 2018 will be in deficit and that, unless the state changes direction, those deficits will no doubt increase in subsequent years. (Click the title for more)

STATEMENT: On Shale Tax and Cancelled House Session

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Marc Stier, Director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, released the following statement on the decision by the House to cancel session days on October 23, 24, and 25:

"We at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center generally don't comment on when the House chooses to be in session. But the decision by Speaker Mike Turzai and Majority Leader Dave Reed to cancel voting sessions next week—on October 23, 24, and 25—and to do so the day after the House Finance Committee approved a shale tax bill on a bi-partisan basis reeks of both chicanery and desperation.

STATEMENT: On State House Revenue Plan

Update noon, October 18: There is talk around the capitol that a shale tax will come out of the House Finance Committee today and coming to a vote on the House floor later this week. This legislation must be part of the budget this year. It is the difference between a budget that takes a step forward to address our long term budget problems and one that makes those problems worse.

STATEMENT: On President Trump's ACA-Killing Actions

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Marc Stier, Director of the PA Budget and Policy Center, made the following statement in response to President Trump's recent announcements of actions that affect the Affordable Care Act:

"President Trump’s actions in the last two days put the health insurance of over 400,000 Pennsylvanians at risk. It will lead to an increase in health insurance premiums in the marketplaces of over 20%.

STATEMENT: On the Governor's Plan to Securitize PLCB Profits

Marc Stier, Director of the PA Budget and Policy Center, made the following statement after the release of the Governor's plan to securitize PLCB profits.

GOP-Trump Tax Plan: A Windfall for Top 1% of Pennsylvania, a Tax Increase for Many Middle Class Pennsylvanians

A 50-state analysis of the GOP tax framework reveals that in Pennsylvania, the top 1 percent of taxpayers would receive a substantial tax cut worth $67,970 while many upper middle class Pennsylvanians would face a tax increase. This plan is bad for Pennsylvania and our country.

No time for giving up

It appears that members of the General Assembly are moving towards a final plan for funding the budget they passed in June. We share the sense of relief that is gradually emanating from the Capitol—we, too, are tired of talking about the budget. But we also know that the urge to get something done can sometimes overcome the urge to get it done right. So now is the time for members to demand that this budget not just be finished but be finished right. That means two things.