Here is a brief overview of Governor Wolf's proposed 2015-16 budget from the perspective of the tax fairness recommendations that were made by the Better Choices for Pennsylvania Coalition on Wednesday, February 18th. The governor's proposal includes six of the 19 recommendations, and a seventh -- property tax relief -- that is broader than the "circuit breaker" relief program recommended by the Better Choices coalition.

There will more detailed analysis in the coming days and weeks, but here is the initial list of Better Choices for Pennsylvania's tax fairness recommendations that are included in Governor Wolf's 2015-16 budget proposal:

#1 Permanently close most corporate tax loopholes by enacting combined reporting.

#3 Adopt a severance tax comparable to that imposed in West Virginia

#4 Apply the cigarette tax to smokeless products and e-cigarettes.

#5 Fix the bank tax

#13 Expand the Tax Forgiveness Program

#15 Maintain the sales tax exemption for all food items

#16 Create a property tax rebate program for working people (included in a broader form, through the Homestead Exemption program)

The Better Choices for Pennsylvania coalition's announcement of its 19 Tax Fairness recommendations was reported in newspapers, as well as by radio and television stations. Photos and links to media coverage are included below:

"Report Highlights 19 Recommendations for Fairer PA Tax System" (Front page story), PLS Capitol Recap, 2/18/2015
"The Better Choices Coalition of Pennsylvania released a report with a list of 19 recommendations to make Pennsylvania’s tax system equitable ... JoAnne Sessa, secretary-treasurer of SEIU Local 668, explained the Commonwealth’s revenue problem is due in part to out dated corporate tax loopholes. 'Nearly 75 percent of Pennsylvania’s corporations pay a smaller percentage in taxes than many of our members,' Sessa said ..."

"Groups present plans to overhaul state taxes," Scranton Times-Tribune, 2/22/2015

"Local leaders call on Harrisburg to level tax play," WFMZ Channel 69 News, 2/19/2015

"News from the Capitol" segment (Coverage begins at 48:43), The Rick Smith Show, 2/18/2015

"Left-Leaning Groups Offer Tax Policy Suggestions," WESA-FM, 2/19/2015

...

On Wednesday, February 18, 2015, the Better Choices for Pennsylvania Coalition held a press conference to call on Governor Tom Wolf and the General Assembly to pursue a 2015-16 budget that invests in Pennsylvania families by making the state's tax system fairer.

Better Choices press conf - 02-18-2015

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy recently ranked Pennsylvania's tax system one of the most regressive in the nation, asking more from low- and middle-income families while allowing the wealthy and corporations to escape paying their fair share.

ITEP Who Pays - PA Facts

Download the coalition's 19 recommendations for making Pennsylvania's tax system fairer.

 

Nineteen ideas to make Pennsylvania’s tax system fairer...

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