Commonwealth Foundation: Yellow Pages Government Costs Taxpayers

HARRISBURG – The Commonwealth Foundation released its policy brief Privatizing Yellow Pages Government, to help taxpayers, state and local policymakers find savings through selling off government-controlled businesses best run by private enterprise.

“When the government started to let their fingers do the walking, it’s no wonder those fingers eventually turned up in the wallets of taxpayers and private business owners,” said Commonwealth Foundation President and CEO Matthew J. Brouillette. “Getting government out of the business of being in competition with private businesses will increase the personal and economic freedom of millions of Pennsylvanians.”

Outside the well-known effort to privatize Pennsylvania state-run liquor stores, CF identified lesser-known government-run businesses competing with private enterprise. The study found the Pa. Department of Conservation and National Resources owns a luxury hotel, Dauphin County owns a Hyatt Regency hotel in Pittsburgh, municipalities throughout the state own 49 golf courses and other forms of government owned and operated businesses like fitness centers, nursing homes, parking assets and zoos.

“Not only will privatizing give the store keys back to their rightful owners, but it will help our legislators pay toward the taxpayers’ debt and pension obligations while freeing up resources for government agencies to complete their intended missions,” said Brouillette.

The study, co-written by the Reason Foundation, found many benefits to privatization including cost savings, improved service quality, enhanced risk management and increased innovation for products and services.

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