Monday, February 8, 2016

Report: PA taxes aren't too high, but they are unfair

Report: PA taxes aren't too high, but they are unfair


Link: Taxylvania: Study says Pennsylvania tax system is inequitable [Reading Eagle]

The state has one of the worst taxing setups in the nation because low-income workers spend nearly three times as much on state and local taxes as high-income workers - 12.3 cents on every dollar earned by the poor compared to 4.3 cents for the wealthy.

And too much of the taxing and spending is pushed down to the local level, with too much reliance on property taxes to fund local schools.

That, said Sharon Ward, is a recipe for trouble because it results in disparities between the haves and the have nots.

Ward is director of Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, a nonpartisan research center in Harrisburg, which studied the tax system and compared it with other states.

It found that a single parent of three children, making $60,000 a year, pays a greater portion of earnings in taxes than a childless single person earning the same, Ward said.

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Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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