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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Breakthrough in State Budget Logjam?

According to the Inky and one of my own sources, a compromise has been reached to break the state budget logjam in the Land of Midnight Payraises. Here's what I hear

1.) Republicans have agreed to a $700 million education increase toward education over two years.

2.) Wolf has agreed to Republican pension bill which will save $10 billion over 30 years.

3.) Wolf has agreed to Republican liquor bill.

4.) This education increase will be paid for by slot machine and gambling revenue (being shifted from property tax relief).

5.) Sales tax will rise from 6%-7.25% to provide $2 billion in property tax relief for everyone. Not expanded to new items. Also a referendum will be included that will empower voters to make the decision on any future property tax increases.

7.) Cigarette tax increases 50 cents a pack, also to roll your own tobacco.

8.) Slot machines in airports and bars, Internet gambling for tax revenue.

9.) This is a 2 year budget.


Anonymous said...

It was only a matter of time before they raided the gaming funds. Slots at airports and bars will only draw business from the existing casinos. Internet gambling will also draw from the customer base of the casinos. No new money, just more avenues to collect the same. A 50 cent raise in the tobacco tax....with more people giving it up, the revenue stream will continue to dwindle, and it won't be long until there is a tax on something else people use a lot of.

Anonymous said...

The problem also is with local school boards not balancing their own budget properly. If this budget is to happen I would like to see super regions for schools and eliminate local cronies on these boards that cannot even balance their own checkbook slept alone multi million dollar budgets. Thank you to the educated and responsible people that have served on these school boards. It is time for a change.

Anonymous said...

I like the sales tax increase, especially. It will hit lower income people hardest. And they're the ones who were most supportive of Wolf. They deserve to pay and pay.

Meanwhile, our per-student spending is already one of the highest in the country and the guy who runs Easton schools is upset about the tone of the Auditor General's report on EASD wasting a half million bucks.

What the hell. It's only money and poor folks and seniors already have enough, right?

Anonymous said...

Lower income people who are on food stamps don't pay any sales tax on taxable items purchased with food stamps. For the most part, they won't be paying anything, just like they do now.

Anonymous said...

The following are the property transfers over $25,000 for Northampton County from August 10-14, 2015:

356-358 Wilkes-Barre LP and Brett, Michael to Ruhf, Daniel, $103,000, 356 W. Wilkes Barre St.

356-358 Wilkes-Barre LP and Brett, Michael to Devine, Dan III, $55,000, 358 W. Wilkes Barre St.

Anonymous said...

Poor folks pay sales tax, and not all rely solely on food stamps. They also buy gas, as it's critical to survival for the working poor. We just raised the gas tax to the country's highest and now we're raising the sales tax in a state with one of the highest state and local tax burdens in the US. People with means can handle the increases. People who are fighting for survival need every penny. The next time someone tells you how compassionate Bob Freeman and his ilk are, ask them why they hate poor people and why they support urban growth schemes that make rich guys richer.

Anonymous said...

I have an idea- cut the salaries and perks in half of the crooks in the land of the midnight pay raise- 2nd highest salaries in the country- make our feckless reps. like Joe Emrick- work for a living. As far as education, Per student spending in Pa. is already near the highest in the land- how about cutting these crazy school administrator salaries (former Bangor superintendent) and requiring local school boards to submit balanced budgets. What an ingenious idea- raise the sales tax- that's just great for the consumers in our commonwealth!

Anonymous said...

I don't remember Gov Barack Wolf campaigning to lift Pennsylvania into the top three of the states with the highest sales tax. Nice bait and switch. Or did I miss that campaign speech?

All I heard was that the state and her schools would be funded by the energy companies and casinos. lol yeah ok. lets look into school districts wasting 1/2 million dollars because an entry error .

Nice job Easton school district. Lets talk about school districts paying "consulting" fees , with out the public knowing , to the tune of 140,000 grand or more.

It is far past the time to require these corrupt , poorly managed districts , to submit a balanced budget.

Once again, it is not about or for the "kids" like the school board members and the corrupt unions tell us daily, especially when they get ready to strike.

Anonymous said...

keep taxing the smokers seems to be the gang mentality. thats fine and dandy, but your smokers fund the CHIP program. Every time the taxes go up , more people stop smocking.this means less revenue. Now where will the tax revenue come from? Looks like the state and the feds have their eyes set on the vapor companies/businesses.

Anonymous said...

If property tax reform could simply target seniors over 80 and allow them to remain in their homes, it would be outstanding.

Anonymous said...

Over 80? How many seniors between 65 and 79 have the same problem? Very few would benefit.