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State Budget and Property Tax (HB/SB 76) March Update

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2017-18 Budget- Now that the Appropriations Committee hearings are finished, both House and Senate are working on 2017-18 budget details. On March 20, House Bill 218 (Saylor-York) moved out of the House Appropriations Committee as the vehicle to begin the budget process. The bill, which currently has 2015-16 spend numbers in it, will be gutted and replaced with current updated figures following discussions with both chambers and the administration. The Majority has indicated that they are aiming for an on-time budget. Legislators during the PDE hearings expressed concern regarding the Governor’s proposal to cut $50 million from pupil transportation funding. Although the Governor indicated that these savings would be the result of a new reimbursement formula, the Secretary of Education indicated that PDE has not started on the new formula. The legislators stressed that a change to the formula should be made with legislative and stakeholder input.

Property Tax Elimination- The proposal to eliminate school property taxes is still discussed by Senator Argall and other legislators, but no bill has yet to be filed. The vote count supporting such a measure in the Senate has decreased. Additionally, more business and professional service organizations, including the Pennsylvania Bar Association, have indicated opposition to any bill increasing or expanding sales and use tax.

The Cheltenham School District Board of School Directors passed a resolution opposing HB/SB 76 on February 14th as part of their regularly scheduled Legislative Meeting. We invite you to read the Board's full resolution and review implications of HB/SB 76 by clicking on the attachments below. Also, we invite you to review the February 7th Financial Affairs Committee presentation that provides state budget highlights and detailed information relative to the HB/SB 76 property tax elimination plan.

Important Additional Resources