In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, Pennsylvania collected $55.8 billion in state and local taxes. While this is an impressive sum of money, it tells us little about whether or not the average Pennsylvania taxpayer can afford this level of taxation.
As shown in the charts below, Pennsylvania’s state and local tax burden (tax collections divided by personal income) was the twenty-first highest in the nation for FY 2011 at 10.3 percent—or 2 percent below the national average of 10.5 percent. Pennsylvania’s tax burden has grown a whopping 83.1 percent to 10.3 percent in FY 2011 from 5.6 percent in FY 1950.
Pennsylvania’s has a high individual income tax burden (2.6 percent, 17th highest), corporate income tax burden (0.42 percent, 14th percent), and all other taxes burden (2.5 percent, 12th highest) which is partially offset by a low sales tax burden (1.8 percent, 39th highest).
Note: FY 2012 state and local tax data from the U.S. Census Bureau will not be available until later in 2014 because FY 2012 is part of their comprehensive “Census of Governments” that is done every 5 years (on years ending 2 and 7). Rest assured that Key Policy Data will post the FY 2012 as soon as it becomes available.
J. Scott Moody has nearly 20 years experience as a public policy economist with a specialty in tax policy and has over 180 publications. He has worked for numerous national and state-based think tanks such as the American Conservative Union Foundation, Federalism In Action, Tax Foundation, Heritage Foundation, and The Maine Heritage Policy Center.