Speaker Turzai, Lawmakers Applaud Bill to Address Harrisburg Financial Issues
10/15/2018
HARRISBURG – Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) and Reps. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland) and Tom Mehaffie (R-Dauphin) applauded the passage of bipartisan legislation to address the city of Harrisburg’s financial issues through a reasonable and responsible approach.

“We were pleased that folks could come together in a bipartisan way and develop a solution that will address the city of Harrisburg’s financial issues through a reasonable and responsible approach,” said Turzai. “The inclusion of an ICA, which was modeled after legislation I authored in 2004 to assist the city of Pittsburgh in its financial recovery, is an important reform that we believe will benefit Harrisburg, just as it was a vital part of the fiscal recovery and ultimate rise out of Act 47 by Pittsburgh.”

House Bill 2557 would authorize the creation of an Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (ICA) which would be governed by a five-member board. The board would consist of members appointed by the governor, Senate president pro tempore, speaker of the House, Senate minority leader and House minority leader. Members appointed to the board must be residents of the city or have their primary place of employment or business within the city.

The ICA is tasked with developing a financial plan for the city. The financial plan must meet the following criteria: include five-year projections of revenues and expenditures, balance the budget, eliminate projected deficits, and enhance the ability of the city to access the credit markets. The financial plan must also account for the elimination of the enhanced taxation after five years and establish a trust to fund the benefit obligations of other post-employment benefits (OPEB) of the city.

House Bill 2557 also authorizes the city to continue to collect a Local Service Tax (LST), up to $156 annually, and an Earned Income Tax (EIT) on residents, up to 2 percent annually, for an additional five years to coincide with the termination of the ICA. Additionally, the legislation prohibits the collection of an additional “commuter tax” on non-resident earned income indefinitely.

“The city is the heart of this region. A strong heart is critical to a strong regional body,” Rothman said. “We want to thank House leaders for working with us to build consensus and ultimately pass this important legislation.” 

“My objective from the start was to ensure that the interests of the entire region were protected while we assist the city in moving forward. I believe this legislation accomplishes that goal,” said Mehaffie.

“This legislation was the product of bipartisan work throughout the last couple of months. We particularly want to applaud the efforts of Reps. Greg Rothman, Tom Mehaffie, and Patty Kim, all of whom came to the table with constructive ideas that led to a 185-5 vote in the House of Representatives,” said Turzai. 

The legislation is now before the Senate for consideration.

Representative Mike Turzai
Speaker of the House 
28th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

 
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