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Thank you for taking the time to read my e-newsletter. These periodic updates allow me to keep constituents informed about state and local issues through email without burdening taxpayers with printing and mailing costs.
If you find this information to be useful, I invite you to visit my website at www.senatoralloway.com and on social media at www.facebook.com/SenatorAlloway. If you would like to contact my office, please go to my website and click on the contact button. Please do not reply directly to this e-mail.
Senator Rich Alloway
Wolf Budget Offers More Questions than Answers
Each year, the governor’s annual budget address offers our state’s chief executive an opportunity to lay out his plans for the upcoming year and identify policy priorities. This process is designed to be the first step in a long course of study, debate and negotiation with lawmakers to create a spending plan that meets the needs of state residents at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers. In this sense, it is hard to categorize Governor Wolf’s massive tax-and-spend budget proposal as anything but a disappointment.
Rather than setting realistic and achievable goals within a fiscally responsible framework, Wolf’s budget calls for the largest tax increase in Pennsylvania’s history in order to finance the largest spending increase in modern times. The impact on taxpayers is staggering -- $4.7 billion in new spending next year, and $12 billion in tax increases over the next two years. It is an approach that taxpayers could never hope to afford.
Governing requires difficult decisions, and these decisions are made more challenging when revenues do not keep pace with expenses. Pennsylvania faces numerous budget issues, including a public employee pension system that devours hundreds of millions in new revenue each year and a property tax system that discourages home ownership and forces many people out of their homes.
Governor Wolf’s answers to these two problems are taxes, then more taxes.
While the governor’s budget address was more of a step backward than a step forward in the budget process, I will continue to work to fix structural problems and cost-drivers in the budget and promote greater efficiency to create a final product that meets state government’s responsibilities without asking taxpayers to give the shirts off their backs.
Upcoming Seminar Aims to Help Seniors Avoid Fraud, ID Theft
Many thieves and scam artists target older state residents. Representative Kate Klunk and I will host a seminar later this month to give seniors more information on how to avoid fraud and identity theft.
The seminar will be held on March 27 from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at Homewood at Plum Creek at 425 Westminster Avenue in Hanover. The event will feature a presentation by guest speaker York County Assistant District Attorney Dave Sunday. Light refreshments will be available.
Seating will be limited for the seminar, and an RSVP is required. Local residents who are interested in participating can RSVP by calling Carrie Nace in Representative Klunk’s office at (717) 630-8942.
Property Tax Rent Rebate Forms Available Now
Local residents who meet age and income requirements may qualify for rebates on rent or property taxes paid in 2014. Application forms and additional information on the state’s Property Tax Rent Rebate program are available now at my district offices.
The Property Tax Rent Rebate program provides rebates of up to $650 on property taxes or rent paid in 2014. To be eligible, applicants must meet income requirements and be a Pennsylvania resident age 65 and older; a widow or widower age 50 and older; or a permanently disabled individual age 18 or older.
The program is available to homeowners with a household income of $35,000 or
less and renters with a household income of $15,000 or less, excluding one-half
of Social Security Income and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits. Rebate
amounts vary based on income.