Property tax reform remains a bright spot among budget-related negotiations

While it may not be at the very forefront of the topics being discussed around the budget in the waning days of June, negotiations around getting an agreed-to property tax reduction bill between the House, Senate, and governor’s office remain productive.

One such negotiation session was held Friday afternoon and included advocates for Senate Bill 76—Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill) and Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon)—as well as others including Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York), Rep. Mike Hanna (D-Centre), and Wolf administration proxies.

Upon leaving the meeting, negotiators remained upbeat in their belief that property tax reduction or elimination will remain a significant source of bipartisan agreement in ongoing budget negotiations.

“I think all five groups—the four caucuses and the administration—are all interested in making this part of a final package,” Rep. Hanna told reporters following the meeting. 

Friday, June 26, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Sen. Wagner enters budget negotiations

Sen. Wagner enters budget negotiations

Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York) was involved in budget-related negotiations Thursday, partaking in a closed-door meeting with Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) and Wolf administration proxies on property tax relief.

Upon leaving the meeting, Sen. Wagner was coy to discuss with reporters what was detailed in the meeting—calling it his Sgt. Schultz moment—he did note the importance of providing property tax relief to homeowners.

“The school tax issue, that’s the largest issue we have in Pennsylvania,” he said. “It’s driven pensions; there are a lot of issues.”

He said those in his district “are begging for relief.”

Thursday, June 25, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Sen. Wagner: “Tom Wolf is trying to play the CEO of the Pennsylvania Corporation”

Sen. Wagner: “Tom Wolf is trying to play the CEO of the Pennsylvania Corporation”

Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York) sounded off on a number of issues at Monday’s Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon including his views on public pension reform, liquor privatization, education funding, and special interests.

Sen. Wagner also had some very pointed remarks about Gov. Tom Wolf, a fellow York County businessman whom he has known for a number of years.

Asked if Gov. Wolf is governing as he would expect, Sen. Wagner said he is not.

“Tom Wolf is a nice guy. Tom Wolf I believe is trying to play CEO of the Pennsylvania Corporation,” he said. “It’s almost like: ‘If you need me come get me.’”

Monday, June 22, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Gov. Wolf’s proposed budget would decrease access to justice

Gov. Wolf’s proposed budget would decrease access to justice

Calling the budget proposal for the Judicial branch “flat-lined,” Justice Michael Eakin said the currently proposed level funding of the Judicial branch in Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal would put the court $30 million in the hole.

“If we do nothing, we can’t meet our budget because of increases beyond our control,” he said. “This year, specifically, the two major drivers that put us in trouble are the pension contribution increase requested of us at about $11 million and medical benefits, which best estimates are another $10 million.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

“Paycheck protection” constitutional amendment moves one step closer to passage

The Senate State Government Committee advanced a proposal by Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York) that would amend Pennsylvania’s constitution to prohibit state government and public schools from collecting union membership dues, fees, and political contributions from employees

Supporters refer to the proposal as “paycheck protection.”

Monday, February 23, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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