July 13, 2022 | Economics and Other
The IFO published a new research brief that examines the factors that caused the PA labor force to contract by 120,000 workers since the start of the pandemic. Factors identified include long-term demographic trends, care of elderly parents, cyber charter and home schooling, wealth accumulation and the elimination of the income-based phase-out for SNAP benefits that creates a punitive cliff for benefits that are twice the pre-COVID level.
June 13, 2022 | Economics and Other
The IFO published a research brief that examines the Pennsylvania gasoline tax, which comprises 55% of Motor License Fund revenues. Although Pennsylvania levies the highest gasoline tax rate in the nation, the analysis finds that collections have not kept pace with the rising cost of road construction. This outcome is largely the result of the tax structure, which is tied to the average wholesale price of fuel and has not increased since 2018. For FY 2021-22, the IFO estimates that the annual gasoline tax burden per licensed Pennsylvania driver is $285.
June 09, 2022 | Pension Analysis
The IFO published a new research brief that examines the impact of Act 105 of 2019, which allows certain SERS employers the option to pre-fund their unfunded liabilities. The analysis finds that the two participating employers effectively locked in roughly $1 billion of nominal savings over thirty years while all SERS employers are projected to save an additional $300 million (nominal). The savings are due to very strong returns realized on advance payments made in 2020 and 2021.