Young Philly Politics blogs http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=blog en Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=pennsylvania_among_039terrible_10039_most_regressive_tax_states <p><strong>By Chris Lilienthal, <a href="http://thirdandstate.org/2013/january/pennsylvania-among-terrible-10-most-regressive-tax-states">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="http://www.itep.org/whopays/" 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="http://pennbpc.org/whopays" 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="http://pennbpc.org/whopays">here</a>.</p> <p><a title="Click for a larger view" href="http://pennbpc.org/sites/pennbpc.org/files/PA-GRAPHIC.jpg"><img src="http://pennbpc.org/sites/pennbpc.org/files/PA-GRAPHIC.jpg" 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="http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=pennsylvania_among_039terrible_10039_most_regressive_tax_states">read more</a></p> http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=pennsylvania_among_039terrible_10039_most_regressive_tax_states#comments Low-income Families middle class Pennsylvania Regressive Taxes Tax Equity Taxes http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=crss/node/8568 Fri, 01 Feb 2013 17:47:00 +0000 Thirdandstate.org 8568 at http://youngphillypolitics.com February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014 http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=february_4_nonpartisan_training_how_run_election_board_2013_how_run_committeeperson_2014 <p>Because the response to our workshop on January 14 exceeded our expectations, we are doing it again!</p> <p>Making A Difference!<br /> How You Can Strengthen Democracy in Philadelphia</p> <p>Come to this non-partisan training; learn how you can win one of these positions. Help strengthen women’s voices in our political process and protect the right to vote!</p> <p>HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013<br /> HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014</p> <p>When: Monday, February 4, 2013 from 5:30-7:30 pm<br /> Where: Community College of Philadelphia<br /> Winnet Student Life Building<br /> Lecture Hall S2-3<br /> 17th Street b/w Spring Garden and Callowhill Streets<br /> Philadelphia Pa 19130</p> <p>Speaker:<br /> Stephanie Singer, City Commissioner</p> <p>Running for committeeperson is a very easy entry point into electoral politics. You don’t need to raise money; you just need the time and willingness to talk to your neighbors. Running for committeeperson is a way to learn grassroots organizing skills, gain leadership experience, and learn how the political system works.</p> <p>Running for Election board is an opportunity to ensure that we have fair elections. The Voter ID law, which is slated to be implemented in 2013, has drawn attention to what has been a very low profile position—the Judge of Elections. In each division, the Judge of Elections resolves disputes and makes determinations about voter eligibility in areas where the law is ambiguous. With the enactment of the Voter ID law, the position of Judge of Elections has become much more important. The Majority and Minority inspectors also play an important role in ensuring fair, well-run elections.</p> <p>Sponsored by the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization for Women and the Philadelphia Chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women, and West Philadelphia Coalition of Neighborhoods and Businesses. </p> <p><a href="http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=february_4_nonpartisan_training_how_run_election_board_2013_how_run_committeeperson_2014">read more</a></p> http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=february_4_nonpartisan_training_how_run_election_board_2013_how_run_committeeperson_2014#comments http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=crss/node/8567 Thu, 31 Jan 2013 00:36:11 +0000 kbojar 8567 at http://youngphillypolitics.com Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=republican_governors_optin_medicaid_expansion <p><strong>By Sharon Ward, <a href="http://thirdandstate.org/2013/january/republican-governors-opt-medicaid-expansion">Third and State</a></strong></p> <p>There is growing bipartisan agreement that the optional expansion of Medicaid provided by the Affordable Care Act is too good an opportunity to pass up.</p> <p>This month, the Governors of Arizona and North Dakota, both Republicans, announced their intention to opt-in to the Medicaid expansion, joining their counterparts in Nevada and New Mexico. To date, 14 states have decided to expand Medicaid in 2014, and another seven are leaning toward expansion. Pennsylvania remains among the 21 undecided states.</p> <p><img src="http://www.offthechartsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/1-16-13health.jpg" alt="Support for Medicaid Expansion Growing" /></p> <p>Here’s what Arizona Governor Jan Brewer <a href="http://www.azgovernor.gov/dms/upload/GS_011413_SOS2013.pdf" target="_blank">had to say</a> about Medicaid:</p> <p><a href="http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=republican_governors_optin_medicaid_expansion">read more</a></p> http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=republican_governors_optin_medicaid_expansion#comments Affordable Care Act health care Medicaid Pennsylvania Republicans http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=crss/node/8566 Tue, 29 Jan 2013 18:25:35 +0000 Thirdandstate.org 8566 at http://youngphillypolitics.com The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=reports_unions039_death_are_greatly_exaggerated <p><strong>By Stephen Herzenberg, <a href="http://thirdandstate.org/2013/january/reports-unions-death-are-greatly-exaggerated">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="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm" target="_blank">fell by about 400,000, to 14.4 million</a>. Union membership in Pennsylvania <a href="http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/state-union-numbers-2013-01.pdf" 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="http://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/labor/news/2013/01/23/50419/state-level-policies-threaten-to-further-weaken-unions/" 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="http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=reports_unions039_death_are_greatly_exaggerated">read more</a></p> http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=reports_unions039_death_are_greatly_exaggerated#comments democracy Income Inequality middle class Pennsylvania Unions http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=crss/node/8565 Fri, 25 Jan 2013 21:50:56 +0000 Thirdandstate.org 8565 at http://youngphillypolitics.com Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=ask_allyson_schwartz_run_governor <p>From <a href="http://marcstier.com/blog2/?p=6845">Marc Stier at Large</a></p> <p>Barack Obama is back in office and moving in a liberal direction. So now it’s time to think ahead about building progressive power. The most important thing we can do in Pennsylvania is to replace Tom Corbett as Governor. So it’s a little surprising to me is that, with all the talk about this candidate or that, the one Pennsylvania politician who is best placed to defeat Governor Corbett, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, is not being asked by everyone to run. The main reason, I suspect, is that most people who pay close attention to politics don’t think she will do so. And some folks, for the usual reasons, have trouble getting their head around the idea of a woman as Governor. </p> <p>I have no inside knowledge about whether Congresswoman Schwartz is considering a race. But I strongly believe that she should run. After explaining why, I’ll come back to the issue of whether she will or not.</p> <p><a href="http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=ask_allyson_schwartz_run_governor">read more</a></p> http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=ask_allyson_schwartz_run_governor#comments Allyson Schwartz Governor of Pennsylvania http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=crss/node/8564 Tue, 22 Jan 2013 18:09:25 +0000 Marc Stier 8564 at http://youngphillypolitics.com Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=mind_gap_opting_out_medicaid_expansion_leaves_lowincome_families_behind <p><strong>By Michael Wood, <a href="http://thirdandstate.org/2013/january/mind-gap-opting-out-medicaid-expansion-leaves-low-income-families-behind">Third and State</a></strong></p> <p>Federal health care reform is moving forward thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last year — and it is a <a href="http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&amp;id=3801" target="_blank">great deal</a> for Pennsylvania. Unless the state decides to “opt out,” Medicaid coverage will be expanded to include many Pennsylvanians who are uninsured.</p> <p>One group that will benefit immediately are parents with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level ($25,390 for a family of three). The benefits don’t end there: others who don’t receive health coverage through their work will be able to buy insurance on a competitive health marketplace or exchange — making coverage more affordable.</p> <p>However, if Governor Corbett prevents the Medicaid expansion, it will create a coverage gap for families between 46% and 100% of poverty, as the chart below shows (click on it for a larger view).</p> <p><a title="Click to enlarge" href="http://thirdandstate.org/sites/default/files/ifPAoptsout_hires-web.jpg"><img src="http://pennbpc.org/sites/pennbpc.org/files/resize/remote/ab4b14a5845bc32cab61f5ea2ecf0eed-800x635.jpg" /></a></p> <p>Those families&nbsp;between 46% and 100% of poverty&nbsp;earn too much to qualify for Medicaid (for a family of three, this means earning over $8,781 but less than the federal poverty line of $19,090). <strong>These families won’t receive Medicaid coverage, and they won’t receive subsidies to buy health coverage.</strong></p> <p>We all benefit when more people have health coverage. Let’s make the right decision in Pennsylvania and expand Medicaid coverage.</p> http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=mind_gap_opting_out_medicaid_expansion_leaves_lowincome_families_behind#comments Affordable Care Act health care Low-income Families Medicaid Pennsylvania Poverty http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=crss/node/8563 Tue, 15 Jan 2013 14:57:05 +0000 Thirdandstate.org 8563 at http://youngphillypolitics.com Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014 http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=jan_14_workshophow_run_election_board_2013_how_run_committeeperson_2014 <p>The Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization for Women(NOW) and the Philadelphia Chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women(CLUW) will hold a non-partisan workshop on:</p> <p>HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013</p> <p>HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014</p> <p>When: Monday, January 14, 2013 from 5:30-7:30 pm<br /> Where: 1606 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA</p> <p>Speakers:</p> <p>Stephanie Singer, City Commissioner</p> <p>Norman Matlock, Esq., Judge of Elections, 9th ward, 2nd division</p> <p>Nan Myers, Majority Inspector, 9th ward, 2nd division</p> <p>Although NOW and CLUW are focusing on recruiting their members, the workshop is open to any woman or man interested in running for any of these positions. Both NOW and CLUW have male members who are committed to gender equality and share our outrage that women make up only 17% of the PA legislature, one of the lowest rates in the country. </p> <p>Running for committeeperson is a very easy entry point into electoral politics. You don’t need to raise money; you just need the time and willingness to talk to your neighbors. Running for committeeperson is a way to learn grassroots organizing skills, gain leadership experience, and learn how the political system works.</p> <p>The Voter ID law (slated to be implemented in 2013) has drawn attention to what has been a very low profile position—-the Judge of Elections. In each division, the Judge of Elections resolves disputes and makes determinations about voter eligibility in areas where the law is ambiguous. This has been an under the radar position with very few citizens actually running for the job. The Majority and Minority Inspectors also play an important role in ensuring fair, well-run elections. With the enactment of the Voter ID law, having a fair, knowledgeable Election Board matters more than ever.</p> <p><a href="http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=jan_14_workshophow_run_election_board_2013_how_run_committeeperson_2014">read more</a></p> http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=jan_14_workshophow_run_election_board_2013_how_run_committeeperson_2014#comments COMMITTEEPERSON races Election Board http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=crss/node/8562 Sun, 13 Jan 2013 20:22:20 +0000 kbojar 8562 at http://youngphillypolitics.com Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=seth_williams_guns_jasmine_rivera_school_closures_pfc_meetup_wednesday <p>D.A. Seth Williams stops by Philly For Change Meetup Wednesday night to talk about guns in the wake of recent violence. The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary has renewed the focus, at both the local and national level, to find solutions to gun violence. </p> <p>Philly progressives are invited to meet the D.A. and join the discussion.</p> <p>Also on the bill is Action United's Jasmine Rivera, who will tackle another hot topic in the new year: the proposed closure of 37 public schools in the city. Jasmine's helping lead the organizing to stop it. Come out and discover what's going on and what you can do. </p> <p>Philly For Change January Meetup starts at 7pm on Wednesday the 9th at Tattooed Mom, 530 South Street, in the private room on the 2nd floor. T-Mom features Wednesday drink specials and $3 burgers and veggie burgers. Come out, meet local progressives, get involved, and have a great time doing it!</p> <p>Jump into 2013's hottest progressive issues Wednesday night!</p> http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=seth_williams_guns_jasmine_rivera_school_closures_pfc_meetup_wednesday#comments guns Philadelphia Schools http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=crss/node/8561 Tue, 08 Jan 2013 21:23:44 +0000 Sam Durso 8561 at http://youngphillypolitics.com PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=pa_revenue_strong_midway_through_year_tax_cut_could_have_big_impact <p><strong>By Michael Wood, <a href="http://thirdandstate.org/2013/january/pa-revenue-strong-midway-through-year-tax-cut-could-have-big-impact-2014">Third and State</a></strong></p> <p>With a strong December showing, the commonwealth now has a <a href="http://pennbpc.org/revenue-tracker-collections-strong-midway-through-fiscal-year-tax-cut-could-have-big-impact-2014#tracker" target="_blank">General Fund revenue surplus</a> of $171 million (1.4% above estimate) for the first half of the 2012-13 fiscal year,&nbsp;double the Corbett administration’s revised estimate for the entire fiscal year.&nbsp;The strong December collections exceeded&nbsp;estimate by $112 million (or 4.8%).</p> <p>The increased revenue is a good sign of a modestly recovering national economy and a brightening of the state’s fiscal picture going into the 2013-14 budget season. This is a nice change from previous years when midyear shortfalls triggered cuts to state services.</p> <p>In December, personal income, corporate, and realty transfer taxes exceeded revenue targets by 10.1%, with sales, inheritance and other taxes (on cigarettes, alcohol, and table games) falling short of expectations by 2.8%. &nbsp;</p> <p>A similar picture exists over the first half of 2012-13 — corporate, personal income and realty transfer tax collections are a combined 5% higher than expected, while sales, inheritance, and other taxes have fallen 2.4% short of budget estimates.</p> <p>One area of concern is that sales tax collections (the state’s second largest tax source) are $125 million, or 2.7%, lower than projected. It is not clear the reason for this as vehicle sales and consumer spending have been increasing. Perhaps the new tax collections from some online retailers may not be as large as anticipated.</p> <p>Compared to last year, collections are $583 million, or 5%, higher, with corporate ($254 million) and personal income tax ($186 million) collections making up most of the increase in 2012-13.</p> <p><a href="http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=pa_revenue_strong_midway_through_year_tax_cut_could_have_big_impact">read more</a></p> http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=pa_revenue_strong_midway_through_year_tax_cut_could_have_big_impact#comments budgets Pennsylvania Taxes http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=crss/node/8560 Mon, 07 Jan 2013 14:51:36 +0000 Thirdandstate.org 8560 at http://youngphillypolitics.com What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal? http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=what_make_fiscal_cliff_deal <p><strong>By Sharon Ward, <a href="http://thirdandstate.org/2013/january/what-make-fiscal-cliff-deal">Third and State</a></strong></p> <p><em>Tell us what you think about the Fiscal Cliff deal.</em> <a href="http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6751/p/salsa/web/questionnaire/public/?questionnaire_KEY=876" target="_blank"><em>Take our two-question survey.</em></a></p> <p>The agreement reached by President Obama and Congress on January 1 was both historic and disappointing&nbsp;—&nbsp;and it leaves much unsettled. The urgency of the Fiscal Cliff has dissipated, but significant threats remain to federal funding for state and local services as well as refundable tax credits for low-income working families, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.</p> <p>There is much to dislike in this agreement. It makes permanent most of the Bush era tax cuts, ensuring that income from dividends and capital gains will be taxed at a lower rate than income from work. It makes permanent the estate tax but locks in a tax rate that creates a huge windfall for the top 0.3% of households.&nbsp;Sequestration cuts — the automatic spending cuts that members of both parties hated and the President said would not occur — have been postponed for two months, with three-quarters of FFY 2013 cuts ($85.6 billion) and $109 billion in annual cuts after that still in law through 2022.&nbsp;The President’s line in the sand on raising tax rates for the top 2% of earners got pushed way back, with top rates kicking in at $400,000 for an individual and $450,000 for a couple. A low-wage earner might need 20 years to make that much.</p> <p><a href="http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=what_make_fiscal_cliff_deal">read more</a></p> http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=what_make_fiscal_cliff_deal#comments Federal Budget fiscal cliff Pennsylvania Tax Cuts Taxes http://youngphillypolitics.com/?q=crss/node/8559 Thu, 03 Jan 2013 21:06:37 +0000 Thirdandstate.org 8559 at http://youngphillypolitics.com