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Friday, March 6, 2015

Capitol Update By Rep. Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Friday, March 06, 2015

Wolf Budget Carries a Heavy Price Tag

Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled his first budget proposal on Tuesday – a $33.8 billion plan that increases spending by an unprecedented $4.7 billion, or 16 percent.

To raise the revenue he needs to enact this budget, the governor is proposing to increase the state’s Personal Income Tax from 3.07 percent to 3.7 percent, a 21 percent jump in tax liability. He is also proposing a 10 percent increase in the sales tax to 6.6 percent and plans to apply the tax to many more products and services. Additional proposed taxes include an increase in the cigarette tax, a new tax on other tobacco products and the application of a severance tax on natural gas drilling. He is also seeking more than $4 billion in new borrowing.

I firmly believe government needs to be fiscally responsible and live within its means. What the governor is proposing is a government that is living far beyond the means of its citizens. Read more about my thoughts on the budget here.

This proposal is merely a starting point for budget negotiations. Over the next three weeks, the House and Senate will hold hearings with the various state departments and agencies about their budgetary needs in advance of reaching a final agreement on the spending plan by the end of June.

Additional information about the budget proposal is available here.

It’s always great to see folks from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford at the state Capitol. Here I am with senior Yara Elbeshbishi; Lindsay Retchless, director of Alumni Relations; Danielle Munksgard, a 2008 alum; and Dr. Livingston Alexander. 

Need Help with Your 2014 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Application?

The 2014 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is now open, and my office is here to help you apply for the benefit AT NO CHARGE.

On Tuesday, March 17, I will host two Property Tax/Rent Rebate clinics:

 • Ulysses Senior Center, 522 Main St., Ulysses9-10 a.m.
 • Oswayo Valley Senior Center, 106 S. Oswayo St., Shinglehousenoon to 1 p.m.

No appointment is necessary, but be sure to bring the necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process your claim quickly and accurately.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with permanent disabilities who meet certain income guidelines. Renters may earn up to $15,000 annually and qualify for the program, while homeowners may earn up to $35,000. Exclude 50 percent of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits when calculating income.

Assistance is also available during regular business hours at my local offices:

 • Bradford: 78 Main St., First Floor814-362-4400.
 • Coudersport: 107 S. Main St., Room 1814-274-9769.
 • Kane: 55 Fraley St.814-837-0880.

Additional information and claim forms are available at

Maple Producers Week in Pennsylvania

The state House voted with its sweet tooth this week, approving my resolution designating March 15-22 as Maple Producers Week in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the nation in maple syrup production, and is the only state in the nation to see increased syrup production last year. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the state produced 146,000 gallons of syrup with a production value of more than $4.7 million in 2014. That’s up from 134,000 gallons and a production value of more than $3.7 million in 2013.

Learn more about all things maple when the Potter-Tioga Maple Syrup Producers Association holds its 11th Annual Maple Weekend on March 21-22. For more information about activities and participating producers, visit


Anonymous said...

Hope you liberal morons are happy with this UNPRECEDENTED spending increase and the tax increases that come with it!!!!! We already know the spending increases will be in Shitsburg, Philthadelphia and Harassburg!
Thanks again the south is looking better and better!

Anonymous said...

Now along with the wolf raising taxes in Pa. obuma is going to use his ink pen and another good for the country executive order again to raise all taxes and close alot of tax write offs .

Anonymous said...

I love how republicans keep pushing the issue of "economics". The economy is the growing faster and faster every day but yet they still think it is tanking or they are the reason the economy is rising. Pathetic. Perhaps you should stop listening to a "representative" like this fool that's supporting this area. Please move down south. I sure as heck don't want someone who's so easily brainwashed by an entertainment company misrepresenting all the people in this area with common sense and an IQ over 70.