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Tax burden on Pa. residents is about the national average

Written by Robert Brod/Keystone Crossroads | Dec 6, 2018 8:48 AM
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(AP Photo)

Pennsylvania's Independent Fiscal Office released a new report this week comparing state and local tax effort to the rest of the country.

The overall burden felt by Pennsylvania residents sits at about the national average.

The IFO looked at a year's worth of data for taxes collected at both the state and local level and compared it to Pennsylvanians' total income.

There was $66.5 billion raised in tax revenue -- which is about about 10% of residents' income.

"The bottom line is that Pennsylvania, across all 50 states, we rank 24th in the ratio of taxes to total income. And that measure is often used as a measure of tax burden, or tax effort, if you will," said IFO director Matthew Knittel.

The report also found that residents in the six states that border Pennsylvania face a greater overall tax burden.

Some of Pennsylvania's taxes affect residents far more compared to other states. Most notably, Pa. residents pay a larger share of income to gambling, liquor and cigarette taxes.

The IFO also reported that Pa. has one of the highest motor vehicle tax rates in the country.

"This report, the data it uses, was after the higher gasoline tax was enacted. And currently, Pennsylvania does have the, on a per-gallon basis, the highest gasoline tax in the U.S. at 57.6 cents per gallon," said Knittel.

The report also looked at what percentage of taxpayers' income went to property taxes and found it to also be about average compared to the nation.

A separate IFO report released this week says in November, Pa. continued to generate more revenue than projected.

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