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State taxes

June 15, 2013

During the past two years, Pennsylvania taxpayers continued to pay state taxes on their earnings and on their taxable purchases....

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(23)

mikekerstetter

Jun-16-13 5:54 AM

Cont'd- Now that it's due, they, and people like you, want to look at the employees, point the finger, and say "it's their fault". But, again, the truth is that the Employees contributed one and a half times as much as the School Districts over the last 10 years (70% from investments, 18% from Employees and 12% from the School Districts). Although I can't find the data right now, I do know that prior to ACT 120 of 2010 the Employees were paying more than twice as much as the employers. Those are the facts.

And as to the unions, I hear that a lot, it's all the unions fault. Unions are used as a scapegoat by people who can't come up with real supporting facts that back their perceptions. And a FACT in this case is that the unions have absolutely nothing to do with the pensions since PA's public pensions are a matter of Legislation, not collective bargaining.

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mikekerstetter

Jun-16-13 5:30 AM

JohnZook-"Gotta feed that ever increasing "retirement costs" beast. Too many "staff members" to pay for and not enough (?) to go to the kids education. And what about thr Teachers Union...............?"

I love the people who keep complaining about the retirement underfunding as if it's the employees fault. Taxes remained artificially low and money was spent that the districts didn't have to spend because they purposely underfunded the system for years. Just like a balloon payment on your house where you pay very little on your mortgage but owe a large sum at the end, this is how the School Boards chose to fund the Retirement System. Most of them were gambling that the high rate of return on investments, where most of the income in the retirement plans come from, and they would never have to pay that balloon payment. They reaped what they sowed. Now that it's due, they, and people like you, want to look at the employees, point the finger, and say it's th

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rmiller

Jun-15-13 10:25 PM

JohnZook's post just said a mouthful...:)

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rmiller

Jun-15-13 10:25 PM

Mr. Faust,

There are a host of other issues that figure in on the closing of many schools across PA.

In Mike's post of 4:42 AM, one of the issues is clarified as problematic in the budget workings.

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JohnZook

Jun-15-13 8:25 PM

Gotta feed that ever increasing "retirement costs" beast. Too many "staff members" to pay for and not enough (?) to go to the kids education. And what about thr Teachers Union...............?

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gavinf56

Jun-15-13 3:59 PM

...and you may want to revisit the letter "Debating Correctly" by Phil Underwood.

I offered numbers, and sources to support my position and showed how your "15%" cut is a false claim. In debating correctly one would reply with substantiated data to support their position rather than the standard trolling reply you are known for.

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gavinf56

Jun-15-13 3:47 PM

"They believe what Corbett and his cronies tell them." - CMReeder

No, unlike you I believe in facts, and the numbers speak for themselves.

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CMReeder

Jun-15-13 3:22 PM

The blockheads on the right fail to see that this state has schools in financial crisis. They believe what Corbett and his cronies tell them. The State has been making cuts to the education programs for children.

It is by no measure a good thing.

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gavinf56

Jun-15-13 1:24 PM

Yep, and taking the rounded numbers on education funding from the article, that $6.3 billion reduced to $5.3 billion will give you that "15% cut".

In the words of the immortal Homer Simpson, "Doh!".

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Premier

Jun-15-13 12:51 PM

Came in right on cue didn't he Gavin.

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CarlHiller

Jun-15-13 9:06 AM

CMReeder - Like I said earlier, education spending has increased over the last decade, the state budgets over the past years bear this out, the only thing that decreased in the spending loop was the rate of increased spending, and that my friend is no decrease in spending. If your budget last year was $10 and are pushing for a budget of $15 this year but settle at $12, that is not a decrease in spending. It's a decrease in the amount you want to spend, but you are still spending more.

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gavinf56

Jun-15-13 8:46 AM

It seems you are correct Premier.

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CMReeder

Jun-15-13 8:40 AM

They are in fact not adding monies to educating children. Funding for educating children in this state has been cut by 15%.

Since austerity measures are being applied not only on the state level but also the federal and local levels, education is being squeezed out of funds.

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Premier

Jun-15-13 8:34 AM

Gavin, some people here are going to get confused by the "facts" you cited. These confused people are more comfortable with "talking points"

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Garben78

Jun-15-13 7:50 AM

Slick Eddy got us when he promised what all this gambling profit would bring

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gavinf56

Jun-15-13 7:46 AM

But it's also true that the $5.3 billion was close to - in fact, slightly over - what Rendell had been giving schools before the stimulus money came into play. That funding increased slightly in this fiscal year, to $5.4 billion, and Corbett is proposing an additional $90 million for basic education for the fiscal year that begins July 1 (House Republicans are pushing for a $100 million spike).

For their part, House Republicans are even going so far as to say that their proposed budget would spend the most money ever on education funding. That, too, is technically true, although Democrats call the assertion laughable, as that includes upwardly spiraling pension and school transportation costs, rather than money spent on kids in classrooms.

***The last 3 posts are from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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gavinf56

Jun-15-13 7:45 AM

Enter January 2011, when Corbett came into office. There was no more stimulus money to use as a crutch - and that, Corbett administration officials said, was not their fault, just cold, hard fiscal reality. They also noted that school districts were warned not to rely on stimulus money to balance their budgets, as it would disappear.

So with that money gone, Corbett and the Republican-controlled legislature allocated $5.3 billion for basic education, while slashing other line items, such as accountability block grants - on its face, a $1 billion decrease in money flowing to public schools.

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gavinf56

Jun-15-13 7:44 AM

Then, the recession hit. So in the next fiscal year, Rendell and the legislature actually cut funding for basic education to just under $4.9 billion, but backfilled it with $650 million in federal stimulus funds. The 2010-11 budget cycle followed a similar path, with stimulus money again being used to bolster education funding to levels that the state likely would not have otherwise.

When all was said and done, Democrats say that in Rendell's last year in office, roughly $6.3 billion was earmarked for public schools to spend directly in classrooms. That figure included state funding AND federal stimulus dollars for basic education, as well as money for charter school reimbursements and accountability block grants (many schools use the latter to fund early-childhood education).

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gavinf56

Jun-15-13 7:41 AM

Under Rendell, the state spent just over $5.2 billion on basic education in the 2008-09 fiscal year.

During Rendell's tenure in office, he increased education funding by $3 billion.

That is one heck of an "inflation rate".

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CMReeder

Jun-15-13 7:30 AM

According to the Education Law Center, education in PA was cut by 15% in the state budget. This cut adversely affects those regions in the state with high poverty rates.

Maybe you guys should get the facts.

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eriklatranyi

Jun-15-13 6:23 AM

As Mike and Carl point out, this LTE is loaded with lies.

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CarlHiller

Jun-15-13 5:54 AM

Mike you are absolutely correct. We are spending more on education than ever before. The problem is school boards think the money grows on trees and have been largely unaccountable due to low citizen participation at school board meetings. Since 2000 while PA schools have hired over 35,000 more staff members, enrollment has decreased by a similar amount. Since 2000 PA public school revenue has increased from just shy of $10000 per student to over $14600 today. Funding has never been cut, it's the rate of increase that has been cut. As far as the corporate taxes, there was no reduction, though there is a planned reduction phased in over a number of years in the new budget proposal. The problem with corporate taxes is that the corps don't pay them, the consumer does. So you will either pay the corporate share to government when t heir tax rates are lowered or you will pay higher prices to the corporations. David do some research for facts instead of propaganda.

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mikekerstetter

Jun-15-13 4:42 AM

While I truly believe property taxes are an unfair way to fund schools, David is wrong in his assertions.

1st, he needs to realize that a lot of the cuts to Education first came from the Federal Government cutting it's spending on Education. 2nd, to my knowledge there were no tax cuts given to corporations over the past 2 years. 3rd, tax money is tax money. The problem with our school districts getting money from the state and federal government is that the school boards, like David and many others, think it's 'free' money and aren't held accountable for that money like they are for the local taxes collected.

And here is the proof..... they ARE making due with what they have by consolidating schools and bumping up class sizes with no noticeable detrimental effects on education. If they can do it now, why didn't they do it before?

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