Monday, September 21, 2009

Pennsylvania Politicians "Take Hit" Over Budget Process

One of Todd Eachus's famous statements in negotiating- "You've Gotta Take A Hit." According to Brad Bumsted of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review the Pennsylvania budget deal has Fast Eddy Rendell and Pennsylvania legislators "taking a hit."

"Everyone's taken a hit in terms of public support," said Christopher Borick, a political science professor at Muhlenberg College in Allentown. "There's enough dissatisfaction with the whole process and the handling of this budget that there's a lot of people wounded politically."

Rendell's "paid a very steep price," said Borick. "He doesn't have the same standing he once did."

Casinos, tax cheats, and public schools are among the winners under the budget agreement while smokers, theater patrons, businesses, and nonprofits running small games of chance are among the losers.

It is unbelieveable that one of the ways House Democrats and Senate Democrats and Republicans want to balance the budget is to tax non-profits that sell small games of chance. Raffles, small games of chance tickets, and punchboards will all be subject to a 20% tax. In addition the small games of chance license fee will increase from $100.00 to $200.00.

Legislation before the House and Senate would increase the prize limit for any one game from $500 to $1,000. The Senate bill would increase the weekly prize limit from $5,000 to $20,000; the House bill would increase the weekly limit to $25,000. The current prize limits were set in 1988 when small games were legalized

Legislative leaders initially estimated the state can obtain $100 million in new revenues annually from an expansion of small games. The state Revenue Department has made a lower revenue estimate ranging from $14 million to $35 million annually.

I guess they need the money to fund their double dipping with their per diem. Increasing the payout limit will only affect a portion of the non-profits. Many non-profits were not at the $5,000.00 limit presently allowed by law.

Do they realize that the tax to be collected went to take care of the less fortunate inlcuding children, families, veterans, and senior citizens? Volunteer fire companies and ambulances also rely on this type of income. They just taxed the poorest people to fund their lavish food fetish. Depending on which figure you believe anywhere from $14 million to $100 million in aid to those humans is now lost. This action should create the environment for the next tea party.

To be fair you should note that House Republicans were kept OUT of the deal and had no say in its creation.

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