Monday, March 7, 2011

Costa: Budget May Force Local Tax Increases

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa says Governor Tom Corbett’s budget proposal is likely to cause local property tax increases, as school districts struggle to maintain programs with less state revenue.

Costa says many school districts will cut sports, arts, and other extracurricular programs in lieu of raising property taxes, but others will opt to keep them and raise rates.

It’s unlikely that a statewide Marcellus Shale severance tax will pass while Republicans hold the governorship and majorities in both legislative chambers. Costa says Corbett is said to support “local impact fees” on drillers, which would use a fee to abate damage to roadways. But the Senate Democrat says those fees won’t provide for environmental policing or stewardship and a statewide tax is needed.

Costa says Senate Democrats want balanced cuts across the board, as they recognize the need to cut spending. He says the minority doesn’t want to deal with “sacred cows” in this budget process.

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