Who’s really paying taxes in Pennsylvania?

Does it feel like the tax structure is rigged and the odds are against you? The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy released a report this week proving you right.  Unless, of course, you’re super rich.

This is a chart of the national average of percentage of income paid in state and local taxes.

This is a chart of the national average of percentage of income paid in state and local taxes.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP)releases studies on our country’s taxation and economic policies. Their most recent findings has shed a light on what One Pittsburgh has been saying all along, that it’s time for the rich to start paying their fair share.

This interactive map details the tax structure in all 50 states. In Pennsylvania the bottom 20% of income earners (people making $20,000 or less a year) pay a total of 12% of their income to state and local taxes, while the top 1% of income earners in Pennsylvania (people making more than $426,000 annually) pay only 4.2% of their total income to state and local taxes.

The people who can most afford to contribute pay way less, as a percentage of their income, than the lowest 20%. Let that sink in for a minute.

The system is broken and the cracks are starting to show. Pennsylvania’s state budget is on track to have a $2 Billion deficit in 2015. We have an education system which is sorely underfunded and infrastructure needs that are downright scary.

It’s time for corporations, and their wealthy CEOs, to start paying their fair share in Pennsylvania. Not one more school should close so that one more rich man can count his profits. Not one more bridge should crumble while corporations pad their bottom line.

We are organized and we have worked hard to elect new leadership in Harrisburg. Governor Wolf wants to turn this tax structure on its head but he can’t do it alone. He’s facing a Republican led legislature who are committed to his failure. Republicans in Harrisburg have already said that they want to protect corporate interests and take another whack at working people with cost cuts and pension reform.

We, as an organized community, need to continue to let Wolf, and the legislature, know that we expect all of them to do the right thing.

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