The Update: What’s Happening in Harrisburg and DC – April 18, 2022



Since we opened our doors in the mid-1990s, Keystone Research Center has always stood for fair taxation—raising sufficient money from individuals and corporations with the greatest ability to pay in order to invest in our collective future and the common good. In the last few weeks, our various projects and brands advanced the case for fair taxation on multiple fronts: in Philadelphia, under the banner of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, where we made the case for a wealth tax; in Pittsburgh, through the work of the Pittsburgh Budget and Policy Center; and in the Lehigh Valley through the 99% PA campaign’s federal advocacy for a billionaires’ tax.
We know that fair taxation—which funds the schools, health care, infrastructure investments, climate action, and other “must-haves” we need—to achieve vibrant shared prosperity is not just the “right thing to do.” It is also popular. We’re looking forward to winning battles for fair taxation in Pennsylvania and its localities in the next few years—and to offering a beacon of hope for national success on that front. Read on to learn more about this aspect of our fight for economic justice.
Thank you for supporting our work,

Stephen Herzenberg
Executive Director

Fair Taxation for Pittsburgh — A Foundation for a More Just City Beyond American Rescue Plan Dollars

Stephen Herzenberg, Diana Polson, and Nthando Thandiwe | 04/14/22 | Policy Brief
Federal funds in the American Rescue Plan (ARP) provide a historic opportunity to address structural inequities in the City of Pittsburgh and invest in affordable housing, the creation of good jobs, and access to health and community services. Yet an investment of one-time ARP funds in our people and our communities raises a question: how can we sustain investments when ARP support runs dry? This briefing paper answers that question. It posits that by getting Pittsburgh’s more affluent residents and corporations—including anchor nonprofit institutions—to pay their fair share of the city’s revenues, there could be tens of millions of dollars annually to build a more just Pittsburgh for the long term.

RELEASE: This Tax Day, PA Working Families Are Paying Their Fair Share, but PA Billionaires Are Not

Press Release | 04/18/2022

Pennsylvania’s 17 Billionaires More Than Doubled Their Wealth During the Pandemic, and Much of That Wealth May Well Go Untaxed, Making Case for Biden’s Proposed Billionaires’ Income Tax

The passage of a billionaires’ income tax could deliver up to $2.4 billion a year to Pennsylvania if distributed like current federal grants.

Read more.


Tell Your State Legislators to Support Brighter PA!

PA Budget and Policy Summit 2022

Thanks to the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Pennsylvania’s economy is recovering from the pandemic faster than most people expected. But many Pennsylvanians are still in need—and our state economy could be even stronger.

Governor Wolf and House and Senate Democrats have proposed the Brighter PA plan, a proposal to use $1.7 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to provide PA’s small businesses help to recover and everyday Pennsylvanians with the relief we need to pay rent and mortgages, afford childcare, access mental healthcare, pay off student debt, and more. The Republican-led General Assembly opposes it.  

Take action here!

IN THE NEWS | 4/20/22

“The action last week was fueled by a new study by the left-of-center Keystone Research Center and PA Budget and Policy Center that looks at housing affordability before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and currently.

Kehinde Akande is a policy fellow at the PA Budget and Policy Center and an author of the report.

‘The two main takeaways are that eviction mitigation is working to keep people in their homes and it should be expanded,’ Akande said. ‘And a permanent rental assistance fund is needed in the state for the large numbers of cost-burdened families in Pennsylvania.’”

The Morning Call | 4/16/22

“Changing how cyber charters are paid tuition, and how all charters are paid special education funding, could save Allentown that much every year, according to recent research by Education Voters of Pennsylvania.

The organization, a project of the left-leaning Keystone Research Center, recently published reports for every school district in Pennsylvania showing how much they could save annually with those two changes.”

PublicSource | 4/14/22
“’There’s a path that Pittsburgh can take towards fair taxation,’ said Nthando Thandiwe, one of the researchers, during a Thursday press conference. He said the added revenue could ‘really address some of the structural inequities in the city, making investments in affordable housing, the creation of good jobs, health and community services that can really transform a city.’”