Get ready to hold onto your wallet. Come next year it will be several hundred dollars lighter thanks to the pension grab of 2001. This article from WGAL claims property taxes could increase by as much as $500.00.
Property owners in Pennsylvania will see their school property tax bills leap by an average of about $500 due to the public pension problem, according Tim Allwein, assistant executive director of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.
"If nothing is done by the state Legislature to solve the issue, school districts are facing huge property tax increases and huge cuts in educational programs," Allwein said.
Starting in 2011-12, state government and school boards are mandated by law to boost contributions to the pension programs of Pennsylvania's two largest systems -- the State Employees Retirement System and Public School Employees Retirement System.
The Legislature passed the laws in 2001 and 2002, then mandated the extra costs be delayed for 10 years.
The estimated cost of the extra contributions -- $6 billion, or $5.2 billion more than what's being paid now.
To put that $5.2 billion figure in perspective, that's about one-fifth the size of the entire $28 billion state budget. When Gov. Ed Rendell this February proposed a state spending plan that would increase the budget by $1.15 billion, his political opponents in the Legislature slammed him for such a drastic increase in spending.
Now, imagine adding $5.2 billion to state and school spending. That's the reality facing the Legislature and school districts starting in 2011-12.
The money has to come from somewhere, likely tax revenues in some form or another. It's guaranteed by law to state employees and retirees.
You can read about the background of the pension problem here. Thank Todd Eachus and Phyllis Mundy for their part in this problem.