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In this email edition:
100 year-old Constituent voices support for School Property Tax Elimination
I recently sent a citation to a woman from Zion Grove celebrating her 100th birthday. In her kind response, she mentioned in her letter that she wants to see the archaic school property tax eliminated. I agree 100%!
On Wednesday, I chaired a hearing in Marysville, Perry County, at the request of Senator John DiSanto (R-Dauphin/Perry) on the topic of school property tax elimination. The discussion included citizen advocates for school property tax elimination, school business officials, business experts, advocates for our senior citizens, and real estate experts. There was also a Q&A session with people in the audience.
You can watch the hearing here.
Celebrating Valentine’s Day with the Shoemakersville Lions Club!
How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day? My wife Beth and I celebrated with the Shoemakersville Lions Thursday night. They invited me their meeting to review a few of the main items on the Senate agenda including the governor’s proposed budget and suggested cuts to school safety programs—which I very much oppose!
Yes, I know it! I’m very fortunate that my wife has a great sense of humor, but I’ve promised her another night out in a less public setting. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
Major Gas Tax Hike Proposed to Combat Climate Change
A new proposal by Governor Tom Wolf has recently surfaced to increase the gas tax to combat carbon emissions. Entered into by Governor’s Executive Order, the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) believes that increasing the tax will reduce carbon emissions, but the reduction in carbon emissions is minimal and the cost to the people is tremendous. I believe this kind of action would be disastrous to the state economy.
Bill Creating First-Time Homebuyers Savings Accounts Approved by Senate
The Senate has approved legislation creating First-Time Homebuyers Savings Accounts in Pennsylvania.
Senate Bill 309 would permit eligible Pennsylvanians to open special savings accounts and take state tax deductions for savings toward expenses such as a down payment and closing costs.
Last year, I chaired a hearing of the Senate Majority Policy Committee on the effects of the “Brain Drain” on Pennsylvania. Bills like this one help remove barriers for Pennsylvanians who want to settle down and make this state their home. You can read more about it here.
PA Personal Income Tax Return Filing Options
Once again, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is offering several options for filing your PA Personal Income Tax Return, including traditional paper forms, padirectfile, or PA e-file.
Padirectfile is a free and secure way to file your return directly with the PA Department of Revenue. PA e-file is a free option to file your federal and state taxes simultaneously. Click here for a PA Personal Income Tax Guide and to download paper forms.
Protecting our Firefighters, EMS & Recue Companies
Critical members of volunteer fire companies, ambulance corps and rescue squads who are injured in the line of duty would qualify for workers’ compensation coverage under a bill approved by the Senate.
Senate Bill 94 would ensure coverage for all active volunteers and integral members of a volunteer fire, ambulance or rescue company insured through the State Workers Insurance Fund (SWIF). Senate Bill 94 was sent to the House for consideration.
The legislation is part of a broader focus by lawmakers on the challenges facing fire and EMS companies throughout the state. The Senate also approved two bills to expand grant and loan programs for fire and EMS companies and support volunteer recruitment and retention programs.
New Argall Report: Senator for a Day in Berks County
This month’s Argall Report focuses on my annual “Senator for a Day” program for Berks County students.
Sometimes the best education takes place outside of the classroom. I look forward to hosting this event each year because it allows interested students to discuss current issues with me and to debate their opinions face to face with their peers.
Students from Blue Mountain Academy, Hamburg Area High School, Kempton New Church School, Tulpehocken High School and Wilson High School gathered at Penn State Berks for the annual program. Students debated a variety of issues including school property tax elimination, drug testing for welfare benefits, and the potential elimination of high school sports.
You can watch the program here. I sponsor two programs each year, one in Schuylkill County and one in Berks County.
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