Property Taxes

This Week at Third and State: PA Budget, Immigrant Small Business Owners and Public-Sector Job Losses

This week at Third and State, we blogged about mounting job losses among teachers and other public-sector workers, immigrants contributing to the state's economy as small business owners, House amendments to a state budget bill, the latest Independent Fiscal Office revenue estimate, liquor privatization and more. 


  • On education, jobs and the economy, Chris Lilienthal blogged about a New York Times editorial this week on teacher job losses across the nation and highlighted Pennsylvania's public-sector job losses so far in 2012.
  • On immigration, Mark Price wrote about a new report showing that an increasing share of small business owners in Pennsylvania and the nation are immigrants.
  • On the state budget, Michael Wood shared his overview of House amendments to the budget bill. Mike also blogged about the revenue estimate released this week by the Independent Fiscal Office, showing that Pennsylvania will take in $626 million more in 2011-12 and 2012-13 than the Corbett administration anticipated in February.
  • On privatization, Stephen Herzenberg summed up the Keystone Research Center's analysis of an effort to privatize Pennsylvania's liquor stores, which is likely to have significant negative impacts on the state’s fiscal and public health. Later in the week, Mark Price had an update on the liquor privatization debate, which stalled in the state House but is scheduled to begin again on Monday.
  • On property taxes, Michael Wood blogged about voter rejection of a plan to eliminate property taxes in North Dakota and what that could mean for a similar plan in Pennsylvania.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Radical Property Tax Plan Falls Short in North Dakota, Dims Chances for Pennsylvania Plan

CNN Monday reports this morning that North Dakota voters, by a wide margin, defeated a plan to end the property tax and replace school funding with oil tax dollars. Why would voters turn down the chance to have their tax bills paid by now booming oil development? It seems that, as in Pennsylvania, a significant majority of North Dakotans like having local control over schools. The North Dakota initiative would have shifted control to the state government, which collects the oil dollars.

Morning Must Reads: Training and Education? Let Them Go To The Pittsburgh Opera

When workers lose their jobs in a recession, they have time that could be spent in training programs targeted to the needs of employers. Of course, there is a hitch: during a recession, employers are not hiring, so at the very time there are lots of people available to train, employers don't need new workers. As the economy improves (like it is now), it opens the door to training tied to the needs of businesses that are hiring. 

Morning Must Reads: The Impact of Economic Austerity, Student Loans and the Geography of Manufacturing

The U.S. economy is growing, albeit too slowly to make a substantial and badly needed dent in the unemployment rate. Growth in the U.S. economy will almost certainly mean continued growth in the Pennsylvania economy.

The most important risk to Pennsylvania's job growth in 2012 remains job losses among teachers, nurses and other public servants caused by federal and state budget cuts. 

Morning Must Reads: Governing Little or Just Governing Badly?

On Tuesday, The Nation ran a story profiling the changes in economic and social policy in the states following the 2010 election. (Wonky readers may also enjoy Konczal and Covert's short briefing paper on the same subject.)

Third and State This Week: Bigfoot, Preventative Care and Health Reform Turns 2

This week at Third and State, we set the record straight about welfare spending in Pennsylvania and explained why it makes sense for insurers to cover preventative health care. We also blogged about property taxes rising as a result of state budget cuts, the second birthday of the Affordable Care Act, and more.


  • On health care and public welfare, Sharon Ward explained why a recent report on welfare spending in Pennsylvania is a lot like Bigfoot, finding something in the Department of Public Welfare that just doesn't exist.
  • On health care, intern Jheanelle Chambers explained why it is important for health insurance to continue to cover preventative care, which increases both the quality and the length of people's lives. Chris Lilienthal had a post on the positive impact that the Affordable Care Act (which turns 2 today) is having on the lives of millions of Americans.
  • On higher education, Chris Lilienthal shared a chart from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center showing that if the Governor's 2012-13 budget proposal is enacted, Pennsylvania will spend twice as much on prisons as on colleges and universities.
  • And in the Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news reports on state budget cuts driving school districts to raise property taxes and cut staff, and some good news for Pittsburgh and Chester County.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Morning Must Reads: Good news in Pittsburgh and Chester County, Not So Much In Scranton

Since it is spring, how about some good news for a change! The budget gap faced by the Pittsburgh School District is smaller than expected thanks to unexpected revenue growth and a mild winter.

Morning Must Reads: Prediction: State Budget Cuts = Rising Property Taxes = Property Taxes Revolts

A toxic cocktail of state budget choices by the Corbett administration — which include holding in reserve more than half a billion in unexpected tax revenue, corporate tax cuts and a needlessly delayed and ultimately inadequate drilling fee — have slowed job growth and driven up property taxes. It is too early to know whether layoffs in 2012 will match the thousands experienced in 2011, but the news continues to trickle in that school districts are looking to raise property taxes and cut more staff in the year ahead.   

Morning Must Reads: Got Gas?, Foreclosures Up, and Layoffs in the Business of News

In petrochemical news this morning, Royal Dutch Shell choose Monaca Pennsylvania for a new cracker plant, there is still no buyer for Sunoco's Philadelphia and Marcus Hook refineries, and more from Paul Krugman on the job hype surrounding natural resource booms.

Syndicate content