On Wednesday February 27, 2013 the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted Secretary of Revenue Dan Meuser. His comments were received by nearly 100 attendees at DeSales University. Everybody wanted to hear what the outlook is for state taxes and programs. His presentation did not disappoint in its frank perception of the financial conditions of Pennsylvania’s financial condition and the Governor’s plan to move forward. The Secretary made his presentation and then questions from the audience lead to interactive discussion. Here are some of the high points:
The Governor’s proposes a balanced budget which anticipates a modest increase in revenue and spending,
The sale of the State’s Liquor System will create revenue to support education programs,
Modifications to the cap on fuel prices at the wholesale level will generate increased revenues for transportation infrastructure,
The State’s Pension program will require a major overhaul to maintain its solvency while still providing the currently committed pension payments,
The State’s tax system requires a significant overhaul to better promote business investment.
The Secretary also discussed anticipated increases in funding for education and health and human welfare programs. He also made it clear that the State is not permitted by law to sell its lottery program but that it will hire a business growth manager for the lottery.
The next few months will see a great amount of debate and discussion over the proposed budget and hopefully this year will be another year in which a budget is approved on time.