Would state budget stick counties with higher taxes?
The House version of a 2017-18 state budget brags about no increase in state taxes, but the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania warns: “Any vote for this budget is a vote for property tax increases.” CCAP said counties would see cuts of more than $65 million under the House budget.
Courts, criminal justice and human services would feel the impact unless counties step in with local cash.
Representatives from Franklin County and the surrounding area all voted for the budget.
The House budget is “a starting point that counties cannot support,” according to CCAP.
“This Republican budget proposal cuts into the bone that many of us agree is already bare,” House Appropriations Committee minority chairman Joe Markosek, D-Allegheny, said during the floor debate on Tuesday.
State funding for DEP has been cut by about 40 percent since 2002, and DEP has reduced its staff by 600 positions.
“The DEP has already been warned by the federal government that it is not adequately staffed to enforce safe drinking water, air quality and pollution standards.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has warned that Pennsylvania could lose federal funds and state control of enforcing the Clean Drinking Water Act.
Rob Kauffman, R-Chambersburg: “This is one of the initial steps in a long budget process.
I support the principles on which this budget is based, which are reduced spending, no additional taxes and no new borrowing, while still funding the core functions of state government.
This budget accepts 60 percent of the governor’s proposed reductions, and yet it increases funding for education, human services and public safety.