HARRISBURG — A House bill to eliminate all school property taxes would fall $1.5 billion short of generating enough money to replace the revenue existing property taxes raise, according to a report from Pennsylvania‘s Independent Fiscal Office.
“The IFO has confirmed the views I held in June,” when the bill was tabled, said Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, who released the report over the weekend. “House Bill 1776 simply does not raise the revenue it claims to provide.”
Sponsors of the bill estimated it would raise about $10 billion a year by increasing the state’s income tax rate to 4 percent from 3.04 percent and the state sales tax rate to 7 percent from 6 percent.
HARRISBURG – School districts are being evaluated this fall to determine if they belong in fiscal watch status, a new category for designating local government entities on a slippery financial slope.
The state Department of Education is identifying which districts need monitoring because of such factors as low cash on hand or limited ability to generate tax revenue and take on more debt as it implements the School District Financial Recovery Law enacted in July.
The law establishes a state oversight process for school districts similar to what Act 47 offers for fiscally distressed municipalities.
Four urban districts – Harrisburg, York City, Chester-Upland and Duquesne – have received preliminary declarations as districts in financial recovery, the ultimate distress category that triggers the appointment of a chief officer to develop a recovery plan.
Let there be light — or at least some darned good-looking lampshades — on North Queen Street.
Fans of the eye-popping, Art Nouveau glass shades that crowned traditional Tiffany lamps will find a treat waiting at the Art & Glassworks studio, 319 N. Queen St., during Lancaster ArtWalk Saturday and Sunday.
The self-guided tour of local arts venues, organized by the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, includes a featured stop to view the glass studio’s six or so polychromatic dragonfly, peony, poppy and tulip lamps.
Art & Glassworks owner Karin Meacham has been buying Tiffany lamp molds and bases from a California company, and she and her staff have created several vivid lamp mosaics of red, green, blue and yellow glass.
Yesterday’s Ninth Annual Carousel of Flavor in Pottstown was a smashing success. The very large crowd was happily eating, listening to live music and people were catching up with old friends they kept running into. The weather, in the upper sixties, was perfect to work up an appetite.
Pottstown needs to do a large downtown event at least six times a year to draw people into the borough. If there is something worthwhile going on, people will show up; as evidenced by the thousands who came out yesterday to enjoy themselves.
We were happy to see former Pottstown Borough Manager Jason Bobst in attendance. Jason looked well-rested and refreshed as he greeted the many people who were clearly glad to see him. Evidently his new job is agreeing with him! We think that showed a great deal of character for Jason to show up and support Pottstown. How many borough councilors were there yesterday? I didn’t see any. I only saw the mayor.
Congratulations to everyone who worked hard to make yesterday’s event a huge success!