Capitol Roundup from Rep. Mike Peifer
5/22/2015
House Passes Historic Property Tax Reform Legislation
Last week, the House approved House Bill 504, which would significantly reduce school property taxes across the Commonwealth through a dollar-for-dollar tax shift.

House Bill 504 would change the Personal Income Tax rate to 3.7 percent and the Sales and Use Tax rate to 7 percent, without expanding it to include currently exempt items. The plan would generate nearly $5 billion in total relief and would include a $125 million expansion of the Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program, which benefits low- to middle-income senior citizens and disabled residents across the state. The plan includes cost controls to make sure the tax reductions stay in place, ensuring residents across the state see long-term relief.

Since every new dollar generated as part of this plan would go toward property tax relief, it would increase the Commonwealth’s commitment to its schools while reducing the property tax burden to taxpayers. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

DCNR, Fish and Boat Offer Outdoor Opportunities
Families and friends visiting Pennsylvania’s popular outdoor spots over the Memorial Day holiday weekend can enjoy a day of free fishing, courtesy of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, May 24, will mark the first of two free fishing days in the Commonwealth. Fish-for-Free Days allow anyone, residents and non-residents, to legally fish in Pennsylvania without a fishing license. The second Fish-for-Free Day will be Independence Day, Saturday, July 4. More information is available at www.FishandBoat.com/FishForFree.htm.

Additionally, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is providing first-time campers with needed gear and a reservation for two nights at a participating state park for $20. Twelve state parks around the state are participating in the program, including: Black Moshannon, Centre County; Colonel Denning, Cumberland County; Gifford Pinchot, York County; Hills Creek, Tioga County; Little Pine, Lycoming County; Locust Lake, Schuylkill County; Ole Bull, Potter County; Promised Land, Pike County; R.B. Winter, Union County; Ryerson Station, Greene County; Sinnemahoning, Cameron and Potter counties; and Tobyhanna, Monroe County. Reservations should be made by calling the park office directly. The program runs from Memorial Day weekend through the summer.


May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month
Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by at least three species of bacteria, and is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic skin rash, but if left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous system. Pennsylvania has reported more cases of Lyme disease in the past five years than any other state in the nation. Nearly 5,000 cases were confirmed in 2013 across the Commonwealth.

To address this growing concern, a new state law created a Lyme disease-specific task force and calls for tick surveillance programs across the state. The task force within the Pennsylvania Department of Health will develop a public education program and coordinate its efforts with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Department of Education to reach outdoorsmen and women, visitors to state parks and students. It will also investigate and make recommendations to the Department of Health regarding surveillance and prevention of Lyme disease as well as development of an information/education program for both the general public and health care professionals. Learn more about Lyme disease by visiting www.cdc.gov/lyme.

Representative Mike Peifer
139th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Morgan Wagner
(717) 260-6281
mwagner@pahousegop.com  
RepPeifer.com
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