I’m not sure if you heard the news, but budget season is beginning again in Harrisburg. Earlier this month Governor Corbett formally presented his spending plan and, like his previous budgets, its priorities are not where I think they need to be. Here are a few examples about why I’m concerned:
- The Governor’s legislation was supposed to create jobs and get our fiscal health back on track but it doesn’t seem to be helping those who need it most. The Senate Democrats have introduced a detailed plan to get 28,000 people back to work and save the state a couple billion dollars, but the Governor doesn’t seem to care.
- Pennsylvania’s sales tax revenues are below projections, an indication that the Governor’s economic development and job policies are failing. Two years ago when the Governor took office Pennsylvania was 8th in the nation in job creation, we are now 34th.
- The Governor wants to sell PA’s wine and spirits stores, an issue that requires further debate. I believe that we can expand consumer choice, protect small businesses and preserve the jobs of state store employees. But what the Governor shouldn’t do is to connect the sale of our state stores to education funding.
- And finally, the Governor said that it was “time for oil and gas companies to pay their fair share.” It is time because the taxpayers of Pennsylvania have been paying their fair share while giant corporations are free to do what they want.
We have lots of work ahead of us to reach an agreement by July 1st, the start of the new fiscal year, so I will continue to keep you informed. In addition to the budget, I’d like to tell you about:
- Mail property owners are receiving about their taxes;
- The end of the Florida Loophole and my push for common sense gun laws; and
- How you can help choose Philadelphia’s next casino.
Take care, thank you for your continued support and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need any further information.
Sen. Larry Farnese
Important Information About Your Property Taxes
This week the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Property Assessment is mailing property owners their new property values. This is the next step in the Mayor’s Actual Value Initiative (AVI) which is designed to properly value and fairly tax Philadelphia properties.
Once you receive your letter you should review it for errors and visit www.phila.gov for more information on the assessment process. At the site you can also look at citywide maps detailing property values throughout the city and watch videos that show you how to appeal your assessment. Some important dates to keep in mind are:
- 03/31/13 – Final day to request a review of your assessment
- 05/31/13 – Last day for City Council and the Mayor to set the city’s new tax rate
- 10/07/13 – Final day to appeal your tax rate to the Bureau of Revision of Taxes
- 12/09/13 – 2014 real estate tax bills are mailed out
The Florida Loophole is Closed and There Was a Big Debate on Gun Laws
Sen. Farnese (D-Philly) debates Rep. Metcalfe (R-Butler) about the need for common sense gun legislation in Pennsylvania. » Watch Video
I’m proud to tell you that Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane closed the Florida Loophole and gave law enforcement and prosecutors a powerful tool to keep you safe.
Since taking office more than four years ago, I have been fighting to get rid of the Florida Loophole and thanks to Attorney General Kane, we got it done. The Florida Loophole allowed Pennsylvanians who had been denied a Pennsylvania license to legally carry a concealed firearm to receive one from the State of Florida’s Department of Agriculture; circumventing the checks and requirements preventing unfit Pennsylvanians from legally carrying a concealed weapon.
Help choose Philadelphia’s next casino
Last week the six contenders for Philadelphia’s next casino presented their plans to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. If you missed the meeting, and want to learn more, click here for the meeting video and to review each one of the applicant’s presentation. The next step in the process is for the Board to take public testimony on April 11 and April 12. So, if you are interested in making your voice heard, please visit www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov to sign up to testify beginning March 4.