Young Philly Politics - middle class en Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States <p><strong>By Chris Lilienthal, <a href="">Third and State</a></strong></p> <p>Working families in Pennsylvania pay a far higher share of their income in state and local taxes than the state’s wealthiest earners, according to a new study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).</p> <p>Pennsylvania’s tax system scored so poorly that it made the list of the “Terrible 10” most regressive tax states in the nation.</p> <p>The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) co-released the report, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States</em></a>, with ITEP. PBPC Director Sharon Ward made the point in a <a href="" target="_blank">press release</a> that "No one would deliberately design a tax system where low-income working families pay the greatest share of their income in taxes, but that is exactly the type of upside-down tax system we have in Pennsylvania.”</p> <p>Middle-income families in Pennsylvania pay more than double the share of their income in taxes than the very wealthiest Pennsylvanians, while low-income families pay nearly three times as much as top earners, the report found. Get more details on the report, including a Pennsylvania fact sheet, <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p><a title="Click for a larger view" href=""><img src="" alt="PA State &amp; Local Taxes: Shares of family income for non-elderly taxpayers" width="525" /></a></p> <p>The report should bury once and for all the myth of the makers vs. the takers. Low-income families in Pennsylvania are paying much more of their income in state and local taxes than the top 1%.</p> <p><a href="">read more</a></p> Low-income Families middle class Pennsylvania Regressive Taxes Tax Equity Taxes Fri, 01 Feb 2013 17:47:00 +0000 8568 at The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated <p><strong>By Stephen Herzenberg, <a href="">Third and State</a></strong></p> <p>There's a good deal of crowing in conservative circles this week about the new 2012 numbers on union membership. Union membership nationally&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">fell by about 400,000, to 14.4 million</a>. Union membership in Pennsylvania <a href="" target="_blank">declined 45,000</a>, including 59,000 in the private sector.<br /><br />Of course, for anyone who cares about, say, the American Dream, democracy, and rising living standards, the newest numbers are bad news. A simple <a href="" target="_blank">chart put together by the Center for American Progress</a>&nbsp;shows that unions are vital to the middle class. As unions have weakened, so has the share of income going to middle-income workers&nbsp;—&nbsp;and the gap between the 1% and the 99% has mushroomed.</p> <p><a href="">read more</a></p> democracy Income Inequality middle class Pennsylvania Unions Fri, 25 Jan 2013 21:50:56 +0000 8565 at Post-Labor Day Thoughts: Middle Class Can't Afford Another Lost Decade <p><strong>By Mark Price, <a href="">Third and State</a></strong></p> <p>Labor Day 2012 is behind us, but the challenges confronting the middle class are not.</p> <p>As we do each year around this time, the Keystone Research Center has released the <a href="" target="_blank">State of Working Pennsylvania</a>. My co-author, a.k.a <em>El Jefe,</em> had a <a href="" target="_blank">Labor Day op-ed</a> in the <em>Harrisburg Patriot-News</em> where he laid out the theme of this year's report — namely, that the middle class in Pennsylvania and the U.S. cannot afford another lost decade.</p> <p>The next three figures lay out the major elements of this year's State of Working Pennsylvania: employment growth over the last decade has been weak (Figure 1.10); as a result, incomes over the last decade declined (Figure 1.11); and in the first year of the recovery and of the new decade, income inequality resumed its growth as the top 1% increased their share of all income (Figure 5.1).&nbsp;</p> <p>With job growth weak and many policymakers advocating that we lay off more teachers and continue to put off needed investments in infrastructure, we are very concerned that working and middle-class families may end the next decade with less income from work than they started with in 2010.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="533" height="396" /></p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="505" height="393" /></p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="500" height="389" /></p> economy jobs middle class Pennsylvania State of Working PA Tue, 04 Sep 2012 15:07:00 +0000 8528 at Abandoning Pennsylvanians <p>Governor Tom Corbett unveiled a 2012-13 state budget Tuesday that abandons middle-class Pennsylvanians and our most vulnerable citizens.</p> <p>The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has a <a href="" target="_blank">full analysis</a> of the Governor's proposal. Here's the quick version.</p> <p>With this budget, the Governor continues to turn his back on middle-class families who rely on good schools and affordable college tuition.</p> <p>Help for the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians is reduced or eliminated. Tens of thousands of families and children have already seen health and other services terminated. This approach is not about finding efficiencies or cutting waste but rather cutting off help to people who have been hit hardest by the recession.</p> <p>And while there is a call for greater accountability for every dollar in spending, businesses are let off the hook based on claims that they will create jobs in exchange for tax cuts that now total more than $1 billion.</p> <p>This is not the path to a stronger economy or a better Pennsylvania.</p> <p>We'll have more to say in the weeks ahead. For now, you can learn more by reading <a href="" target="_blank">our analysis</a>.</p> Education Higher Education middle class Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Budget Poverty Public Welfare Taxes Tom Corbett Wed, 08 Feb 2012 23:32:44 +0000 pennbpc 8317 at What is Pat Toomey Doing? Inequality and America's Future <p><em>A blog post by Stephen Herzenberg, originally published at <a href="" target="_blank">Third and State</a>.</em></p> <p>Let me connect three dots for you. Draw your own conclusions about the impact of Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey’s proposal in the super committee to reduce the federal deficit.</p> <p><strong>Dot Number 1 — The American middle class is shrinking</strong>: <a href=";ref=todayspaper" target="_blank"><em>The New York Times</em></a> reports this morning that the middle class is shrinking in America — based on where people live.&nbsp; In 2007, the latest year studied, 44% of families lived in middle-income neighborhoods, down from 65 percent of families in 1970. A third of families lived in very high-income or poor neighborhoods now, up from just 15 percent of families in 1970. The case example used to illustrate this national trend — the Philadelphia metropolitan area.</p> <p><a href="">read more</a></p> democracy economy Federal Budget Federal Deficit Inequality middle class Pat Toomey Pennsylvania Super Committee Wed, 16 Nov 2011 15:33:34 +0000 8249 at The Middle Class ‘Under Attack’ <p><em>A blog post from <a href="" target="_blank">Mark Price</a>, originally published on <a href="" target="_blank">Third and State</a>.</em></p> <p>At the Keystone Research Center, we have been chronicling for years the forces that are putting a tighter and tighter squeeze on middle-class Pennsylvanians.</p> <p>Last week, we released a <a href="" target="_blank">new report</a> in partnership with the national policy center Demos that takes the temperature of the state's middle class in the wake of the Great Recession. I'm sorry to say, once again, the patient is not well.</p> <p>The state's annual unemployment rate is the highest it has been in nearly three decades and the cost of going to college is on the rise. </p> <p>According to the report, times are particularly tough for Pennsylvania's young people, with state budget cuts to 18% of public university funding and a 7.5% tuition hike in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education. Pennsylvania's young people already bear the seventh highest rate of student debt in the nation — at approximately $28,000 on average.</p> <p><a href="">read more</a></p> economy health care Higher Education Income Inequality jobs middle class Pennsylvania Poverty recession Recovery Unions wages Workplace Mon, 25 Jul 2011 19:19:19 +0000 8133 at Sale of Tax Delinquent Properties made Philly $500K This Morning <p>Today I participated in the City of Philadelphia's Sheriff Sale of Tax Delinquent properties. Have you been? This is my fourth sale, and today I started keeping notes. </p> <p>Number of properties for sale: almost 100<br /> Total sold: 49<br /> Total sale revenue: $558,000</p> <p>Property spotlight: 1124 S. 48th Street<br /> Number of years tax delinquent: 23*<br /> Total tax principal owed: $47,653<br /> Total Tax Balance: $98,646<br /> Today's sale price: $11,600<br /> Year City tore structure down**: 2007</p> <p><a href="">read more</a></p> middle class quality of life tax collection Tax delinquency tax laws enforcement Wed, 21 Jan 2009 23:02:33 +0000 realisright 4974 at