Harrisburg (Feb 8, 2022) – State Senator Lisa Boscola issued the following statement regarding Governor Wolf’s proposed 2022-23 Commonwealth budget:
“The Governor’s budget did offer some positive initiatives. The proposal to add an additional $1.25 billion in education funding through the Fair Funding Formula and another $300 million in Level Up funding will help some seriously underfunded school districts in the Lehigh Valley. As a prime sponsor of legislation to expedite the use of the fair funding formula to fund Pennsylvania schools, the Governor’s proposal to invest more into the fair funding formula will better direct our education funds where they belong. This can be done without raising taxes and will have an incredibly positive impact on our children’s future.
The $6.1 million increase in career and technical funding as well as the $18 million increase in Ben Franklin funding are worthy of praise as well. I also share the Governor’s desire to tackle the Cyber Charter tuition issue. It is an issue of fairness to taxpayers. Cyber charters should not be getting the same tuition dollars as bricks and mortar charter schools. Whether it is a statewide tuition or a more regional attack on this matter – it really needs to be fixed.
I am disappointed however, in the Governor’s proposal to raid the property tax relief fund. The Property Tax Relief Fund was created when gaming was introduced into Pennsylvania. When the table games were legalized, a provision was inserted that requires taxes generated from table games to go into the Property Tax Relief Fund when our rainy-day fund exceeds $750 million. Our rainy-day fund is healthy, so an additional $130 million should be headed to property tax relief. This would amount to a 20% increase in property tax relief that would be shared by homeowners across PA. This money needs to get into the pockets of homeowners not the abyss that is Pennsylvania’s general fund.
We need to get serious about property tax reform. It is sad that the Governor failed to mention property tax reform. Instead, the Governor’s proposal takes us a step backwards.
The real work starts now. With the Governor’s proposal on the table, the General Assembly begins the process of crafting a responsible, bipartisan, spending plan that meets the needs of Pennsylvania today and helps lay the foundation for a brighter better future.”