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Friday, December 7, 2012

Capitol Update By Rep. Martin Causer




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Capitol Update
Friday, December 07, 2012
 The latest news from the State Capitol
Governor Presents Mid-Year Budget Briefing

Gov. Tom Corbett this week issued his mid-year budget briefing to discuss the financial state of the Commonwealth halfway through the 2012-13 fiscal year.

Revenue collections are basically on target, just 0.6 percent above projections as of the end of November. However, economic forecasts have been lowered since June when the budget was enacted. This raises some concern about the continued strength of revenue collections for the rest of the year and for 2013-14 budget planning.

The governor and the legislature will continue to focus on controlled spending and support for core government services in the next budget cycle. The governor will present his budget proposal for the 2013-14 fiscal year to the General Assembly in February.
 
Property Tax Reform Committee Says More Study Needed to Find Viable Solution

Members of the House Select Committee on Property Tax Reform issued several recommendations to the General Assembly last week but also suggested the committee be re-established in the 2013-14 session to continue its assessment of this complex problem.

The 13-member bipartisan select committee was formed as a result of House Resolution 774.
Some of the recommendations issued by the committee include:
•  Reintroducing legislation to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to permit a homestead and farmstead exemption of up to 100 percent of the property value. 
•  Developing legislation to grant local taxing jurisdictions more diversified taxing options that allow revenue-neutral tax shifts in the collection of local revenues. 
•  Reviewing all state-imposed public education requirements that are not mandated by federal statute or regulation for cost and educational value. 

To view the committee’s full report, click here.
 
You’re Invited to a Holiday Open House

Please join my staff and me at one or both of our holiday open houses next month. The Bradford open house is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 17, from 2-5 p.m., and the Coudersport open house is set for Tuesday, Dec. 18, from 2-5 p.m. No RSVP is necessary. I hope you will stop by for light refreshments and a discussion of issues facing the Commonwealth and our communities in 2013.

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