State Fiscal Update:
Progress Made Toward a Final Budget Agreement
Lawmakers moved forward this week in negotiating details of a final budget agreement for the 2012-13 fiscal year. House and Senate leaders met with the governor to discuss differences between the administration and lawmakers priorities such as education funding, human services funding and in-state higher education tuition freezes.
Late last month the Senate passed Senate Bill 1466, its budget bill, and sent it to the House for consideration. This budget proposal restored approximately $500 million of the cuts proposed in the Governor's budget. This additional spending is the result of better than expected cumulative revenue collections identified by the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO).
This week the House amended SB 1466 to restore the Accountability Block Grant line item to $100 million. This line item is very important to our school districts. Additionally, the House reinstated the Keystone Parks program.
The House will continue to negotiate toward a balanced budget based on sustainable revenues and spending below the rate of inflation. It is expected that the budget will be passed in advance of the June 30 deadline. I appreciate the email correspondence and phone calls regarding your budget priorities.
General Fund Collections $44 Million Short of Expectations
General Fund revenue collections for May 2012 were $1.89 billion, which is $44 million or approximately 2.3 percent, below Department of Revenue expectations for the month. And while we didn’t bring in as much revenue as we expected to in May, Pennsylvania’s labor force increased by more than 21,000, the overall unemployment rate dropped by 0.1 percent, and the total employment rate grew by 27,000 million, last month. Click here to read the full June 2012 Economic Brief.
Deadline to Apply for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Extended
The deadline to apply for the state’s 2011 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program has been extended from June 30 to Dec. 31. As of May 31, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue received 529,023 rebate applications. Eligible participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2011. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities. Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms are available by contacting my office at 215-489-2126, or by visiting my website at www.RepQuinn.net, and click on the button titled, “Property Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline Extended.”
Assistance is available at no cost to residents at my Doylestown office, located at 1032 North Easton Road. Rebate checks will be mailed out starting July 1 to those who have already submitted applications.
Reminder: PA Dog Owners Must Purchase Annual Dog Licenses
I’d just like to remind all dog owners that state law requires that they must purchase an annual dog license at the Bucks County Treasurer’s Office, as state law requires that all dogs three months or older be licensed each year. An annual license is $8.45 and a lifetime license is $51.45. If your animal is spayed or neutered, the annual fee is $6.45 and lifetime is $31.34. Discounts are available to older adults and people with disabilities. Contact the treasurer’s office located at 55 East Court St., 3rd Floor, Administration Building, Doylestown, or at 215-348-6244 to complete the dog license form.
|On Tuesday, June 5, I was happy to welcome a group of local students from Durham Nockamixon Elementary School to the Capitol as they toured the historic building. The group stopped for a picture in the Main Rotunda with Sen Bob Mensch.