The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

July 1, 2013

Highlights of the new state budget

HARRISBURG - Highlights of the 2013-14 spending plan that was signed by Gov. Tom Corbett for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

THE BIG PICTURE:

— Increases overall state spending by 2.6 percent to nearly $28.4 billion from last year's approved budget.

— Raises approximately $28.4 billion through taxes, fees and other revenue sources.

TAXES

— Does not increase the sales tax or personal income tax.

— Cuts business taxes by more than an estimated $300 million.

— Extends life of capital stock and franchise tax for two years past its scheduled expiration on Dec. 31. The rate would drop from 0.89 mills in 2013 to 0.67 mills in 2014 and to 0.45 mills in 2014.

— Increases the cap on losses businesses can write off from $3 million in 2013 to $4 million in 2014 and $5 million in 2015.

PENSIONS

— Pays an additional $160 million for public school employees' pension costs, but saves $49 million by school employees' Social Security payments.

— Does not include Gov. Tom Corbett's plan to overhaul the state's biggest public employee pensions and it does not reflect any changes he proposed.

EDUCATION

— Increases funding for public school instruction and operations by about $129 million to nearly $5.5 billion.

— Maintains spending for higher education at this year's $1.2 billion level.

— Does not include money for Corbett's proposed Passport for Learning block grant program for public schools.

HEALTH CARE/SOCIAL SERVICES

— Does not include impact of a potential expansion of Medicaid eligibility.

— Increases Department of Public Welfare budget by $333 million to nearly $11 billion.

PUBLIC SAFETY

— Increases budget to operate state prisons by $75 million to above $1.9 billion.

— Includes nearly $15 million for three new state police cadet classes that are expected to train 290 troopers.

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