Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Low-Income Tax Rebates On The Way From the State

Low-income working Pennsylvanians are one step closer to a $400 rebate from the state. The state House Appropriations Committee Monday passed a $131 million dollar plan to help 475,000 residents who earn less than $32,000 dollars a year.

Pittsburgh single mom Jennifer England told lawmakers the money would make a big difference in the lives of her two children. "I'm sure that all across Pennsylvania there are working families with children that spend way too much time practicing the art of self-denial. To families like mine, $400 can change the tenor of an entire year."

But Republican Representative Dave Reed questioned the wisdom of creating a state program while awaiting the details of a similar federal program. "I would just suggest from a general policy standpoint that perhaps we're getting a little bit ahead of ourselves by moving this bill so quickly this week. We don't even know what the impact of the federal program is going to be."

Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf countered that everything the state could do will complement federal economic stimulus plans. "If it works as intended... that's going to help everybody. It's going to help middle class folks, it's going to help working families, it's going to help entrepreneurs with businesses."

Despite Republican opposition, the measure did pass the House Appropriations Committee, and now goes to the full House for approval.

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