Tax Foundation: Pa. ranks 29th nationwide for its tax climate | Tuesday Morning Coffee

October 29, 2019 7:13 am

Good Tuesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

The folks at the Washington D.C.-based Tax Foundation are out with their annual ranking of each state’s tax climate. And Pennsylvania finds itself facing a familiar complaint: Its overall tax climate, while not completely abysmal, still isn’t entirely great either.

But, we’re doing better than New Jersey and New York, so there’s that.

“Pennsylvania has one of the highest-rate and least competitive corporate income taxes in the country, contrasted with a highly competitive individual income tax,” the Tax Foundation’s analysts say of our 29th place finish among these 50 states.

A look at some more detailed information for the numbers nerds amongst you starts below.

(Image via The Tax Foundation.)

Here’s a look at where the state stands, by the numbers: We finish 46th nationwide for our corporate tax burden. Despite lawmakers’ best efforts to reduce it, Pennsylvania’s corporate net income tax has stubbornly resisted reform.

The state ranks 19th for its individual tax burden, which doesn’t seem too awful, though, if we crane our heads just right, we can hear the screaming from the Commonwealth Foundation. The sales tax burden is 17th nationwide and the property tax burden, which is the bete noire of angry seniors everywhere, is 21st nationwide.

Huge irony: The sales and income tax burden will skyrocket if property tax reformers get their way. So if that’s not proof of the Butterfly Effect, we don’t know what is.

And while we’re used to Pennsylvania finishing near the bottom of ranking lists of good stuff and near the top of ranking lists for bad stuff, the state’s utter averageness on matters of taxation, at least compared to its neighbors, may come as some small comfort.

In Delaware, where whole corporations often manage to live comfortably in 4X6 post office boxes in Wilmington, the overall tax burden ranks 11th nationwide. West Virginia finishes next at 23rd, followed by Ohio (38th), Maryland (43rd), New York (49th) and New Jersey (50th), according to the Tax Foundation.

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Our Stuff.
Elizabeth Hardison 
leads our coverage this morning with a look at the steps the state Department of Corrections is taking to streamline its reentry services for returning inmates.

Stephen Caruso hit a Daryl Metcalfe-chaired hearing on climate change. The results were surreal — even by the usual brain-bending, logic-beggaring Metcalfian standards. 

State Republican Chairman Lawrence Tabas stuck by his defense of lawmakers’ controversial campaign spending practices. His remarks came after Monday’s monthly Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon at the Harrisburg Hilton, where Tabas, an election lawyer, was the featured speaker.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has joined with 22 of his colleagues nationwide to challenge ‘unlawful’ Trump EPA regulatory changesLaina G. Stebbins, of our sister site, the Michigan Advance, reports.

From our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune, Philly’s budget wonks say the next economic downturn is ‘really front and center in our minds.’

On our Commentary Page, two Carnegie Mellon University scholars explain how better batteries are fueling a surge of electric scooters in India and China. And Andy Carter, of the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, pleads the case for House and Senate bills improving workplace safety for nurses.

200 hundred people gathered in Berks County Friday, July 12, 2019 to protest a immigration detention center outside Reading. (Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

The Inquirer
 has the latest on the effort to shut down the ICE detention center in Berks County, this time noting that there are ‘enough babies to open a daycare’ in the controversial facility.
Police in Jeanette, Pa., are searching for the accused gunman in a triple shooting, the Post-Gazette reports.
A bill allowing Sunday hunting has gotten ‘tweaked’ in the state House, the Associated Press reports (via PennLive).
Bethlehem has $1.5 million left over from a special taxing district — and has to use the money or lose it, the Morning Call reports.

Here’s your #That Pittsburgh Bus Instagram of the Day:

Accused IBEW boss John Dougherty has a court date — in a year. Billy Penn has the story.
PoliticsPA has more on PA GOP boss Lawrence Tabas’ press club speech on Monday. looks at the slow — and welcome — demise of greyhound racing.
Ex-AG Jeff Sessions is ‘strongly considering’ a run for his old U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, Politico reports.

What Goes On.
The House comes in at 11 a.m, the Senate at 1 p.m.
10 a.m, Main Rotunda: Keystone State Challenge Academy 
on a topic TBD
10 a.m, Capitol Media Center: Reps. Matt Dowling and Justin Simmons on getting rid of cross-filing, the true last refuge of scoundrels.
11 a.m., Main Rotunda: Rally against the closing of state mental health facilities
12 p.m., Capitol Steps; LGBTQ Advocacy Day rally
2 p.m., Main Rotunda: Sen. Art Haywood, D-Philadelphia, releases his Report on Poverty
5 p.m., Main Rotunda: The new kids at Spotlight PA hold a meet and greet.

Wait? What? A public event? Gov. Tom Wolf heads to Philadelphia this Tuesday morning for a 10:45 a.m. event celebrating the first port terminal in Philly in 45 years. That’s after an 8:07 a.m. phoner with KDKA-AM.

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition).
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Jack Rader
8 a.m.: 
Breakfast for Rep. Joe Hohenstein
8 a.m.: 
Breakfast for Rep. Morgan Cephas
8 a.m.: 
Breakfast for Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald
8 a.m.: 
Breakfast for Rep. Harry Readshaw
8 a.m.: 
Breakfast for Sen. Doug Mastriano
 8 a.m.: Breakfast for Sen. John Yudichak
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Jared Solomon
8 a.m.: 
Breakfast for Rep. Joe Ciresi
11:30 a.m., 
Luncheon for Sen. Tom Killion
4:30 p.m.: 
Reception for Rep. Tim Hennessey
5:30 p.m.: 
Reception for Rep. Stay Saylor
5:30 p.m.: 
Reception for Rep. Carolyn Comitta
Ride the circuit, and give at the max, and you’re out a truly, truly offensive $28,750 today. Remember that the next time you hear anyone in this town complain there isn’t enough coin to go around for a key program.

Heavy Rotation.
We will not apologize for loving this 12-inch remix of Duran Duran’s ‘Notorious,’ and neither should you.

Tuesday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
 eight-game point streak ended Monday with a 7-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

And now you’re up to date. 

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.