The Update: What’s Happening in Harrisburg and DC – June 21, 2022





Will the next state budget put the interests of the people of Pennsylvania first? Or will it help the billionaire owners of corporations? The decision will be made soon enough.
Before you look at our analyses of tax policy below, take a minute to take action to tell legislators to invest part of the state’s $15 billion surplus in us. Tell them to fund education and also to help people afford groceries, gasoline, housing, and child care.

Tell them not to cut corporate taxes while allowing multinational corporations to pay nothing to the state. Take action here.

Thank you for supporting our work,

Stephen Herzenberg
Executive Director

Keeping Property Taxes Lower in Philly Is the Right Idea

Philadelphia is currently debating what to do with the additional revenues generated by the increase in property assessments. One side wants to use those additional revenues to moderate the growth in property taxes by raising the Homestead Exemption amount and expanding the Longtime Owner Occupants Program or “LOOP” (a tax relief program for low- and moderate-income homeowners whose property assessments, increase by 50% or more over the prior year). The other side wants to use the additional revenues to cut business and wage taxes.


Reply to the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce’s LTE about Corporate Taxes

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce has responded to our recent op-ed about corporate taxes with a letter to the editor and makes two points, to which I will reply.
First, it says that the Delaware loophole was closed a number of years ago by legislation that created some of the add-backs Governor Wolf wants to put in place this year. Our answer: if that legislation really closed the Delaware loophole, then more add-backs and / or combined reporting wouldn’t have any effect and the Chamber would have no reason to oppose them. The proof that the Chamber is blowing smoke is that it opposes further efforts to close the Delaware loophole because its members know that the loophole is still open and closing it would make multinational corporations pay what they actually owe. The notion that combined reporting is complicated and would lead to lawsuits would be news to the 28 other states that have implemented it without complications or lawsuits.
Second, it says that if Pennsylvania were a tax haven, businesses would be flocking to the state. The Chamber’s claim is misleading in two ways.
On the one hand, businesses choose NOT to invest more in PA because limiting their operations allows them to shift profits to affiliates in other states. By taxing corporations that sell in PA, no matter where they are located, combined reporting would actually increase the incentive for them to move to our state.
On the other hand, what keeps businesses out of Pennsylvania is not our taxes, it is our crumbling infrastructure and a workforce that is no better educated than workforces in states like Mississippi and West Virginia.


Last week, the 99% PA campaign shared a video released by our friends at Americans for Tax Fairness, which focused attention on PA’s richest resident, Jeffrey Yass, highlighting how he and most other billionaires pay very little in taxes and how he uses this undertaxed wealth to undermine our elections and our schools.

We’re very excited to release a “Part 2” video today, featuring Susan Knoll, a Pennsylvania parent with a child in public school, calling out Yass for buying state legislators to advance his anti-public education agenda – and we’re hoping you can help us spread the word online again.

If you can, please take a minute or two today to like and share our posts about the video on social media. Click on the links below to view a post with the video on any of these social media platforms:


Opinion – Pennsylvania Capital-Star | 6/16/22

Austerity is literally killing Pennsylvanians and leaving our young people in debt.

And our failure to invest in the things that businesses need the most to succeed — an educated workforce and an effective transportation and communication infrastructure — is strangling our economic future. In the last 24 years, our average rate of economic growth puts us in the bottom 12 states, despite the large and vibrant economy the state had in 1997.

The Daily Item | 6/16/22

State Rep. Sara Innamorato (D., Allegheny) was one of the handfull of no votes when the state House proposal passed this spring.

“You know, we want to talk about actually impacting people’s lives and having a positive impact on our economies,” Innamorato said to Spotlight PA. “Simultaneously, we need to be focusing on putting money [in] the hands of working-class and middle-class people not, you know, funneling a tax break to the top and expect it to trickle down.”

Innamorato would rather see funds appropriated to small business grants and loan products that would “help our independent businesses and our main streets thrive.” She came to many of these conclusions after consulting with Stier, director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.

In a new study, Stier found that the state House proposal to cut the tax would cost Pennsylvania $600 million in revenue per year once the reduction reaches 7.99%, and only generate roughly 23,000 jobs over a course of 10 years — estimating that only 20% of those jobs would go to current Pennsylvania residents.

Stier believes that Pennsylvania should adopt “combined reporting,” a practice that is used in 28 other states. This method would require corporations to combine profits from all of their subsidiaries, including ones that operate outside of Pennsylvania, to determine taxable income.

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