In this Update:
This week I had the pleasure of presenting a Senate citation to Magisterial District Judge Joseph Lindsey upon his retirement after a 30-year judicial career and, prior to that, 12-1/2 years as a Lower Paxton Township police officer. Wishing him the best in retirement!
Helping Pennsylvanians at the Pump
After automatically rising last year due to inflation, the 2024 Pennsylvania gas tax will return to 2022 levels.
Last year, the average wholesale price of gasoline exceeded $2.99 per gallon, which triggered an automatic increase in the gas tax. Knowing how Pennsylvanians were already struggling with skyrocketing inflation, the Senate passed and sent to House of Representatives legislation last January to end these inflation-based, automatic gas tax hikes.
Had the House acted in a timely fashion, Pennsylvanians would have saved more than $200 million in the gas tax. We continue to encourage our counterparts to work cooperatively with us to benefit commonwealth residents as we were elected to do.
Reducing the Tax Burden
Certain Fiscal Code provisions recently passed as part of finalizing the state budget will help reduce the tax burden for working families. One initiative would increase the amount of the Pennsylvania Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Tax Credit for eligible taxpayers, up to $2,100 for two or more children.
The legislation also exempts Dependent Care Assistance and Flexible Savings Accounts, which are used to cover health care expenses, from the state Personal Income Tax. They were already exempt from federal taxes.
It also helps counties and municipalities avoid raising taxes on their residents by increasing the payment made for state-owned property dedicated to outdoor recreation to $2.40 per acre to be paid from the State Gaming Fund. These state-owned properties are not subject to local real estate taxes.
Officiating Opportunities Available Throughout PA
If you would like to help your community more this year, there are lots of opportunities to make a huge difference in the lives of student-athletes.
There’s a shortage of referees, umpires and other high school officials in almost every sport. High school officials protect the integrity of the games our kids love to play by demonstrating qualities like honesty, objectivity, consistency and courage.
Hours are flexible, and it’s a great way to stay in good physical condition. Find out how to become an official.
Recognizing Law Enforcement in Our Communities
Tuesday, Jan. 9, is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Protecting our communities is a dangerous and demanding job, but men and women across the state answered the call to public service. They leave their families not knowing if they’ll need to give their lives to keep us safe.
I appreciate their selflessness and commitment to others and was proud to vote for legislation to help them.
Act 60 of 2023 expands the list of law enforcement entities covered under the Heart and Lung Act, which provides for salary and medical expenses to be paid when an officer or firefighter is injured on the job. Other new laws allow municipal police to conduct fingerprint-based criminal history checks on police applicants and funds an additional 100 Pennsylvania State Police troopers to help make our communities safer.
If you are not already subscribed to this newsletter please sign up here.