Pennsylvania Considers Extra Stimulus Payment as Budget Surplus Surges

Pennsylvania State Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa is suggesting a one-time extra payment to residents from the state’s large budget surplus. With the deadline for the fiscal year 2024/25 budget approaching on June 30, Costa shared with WHTM’s This Week in Pennsylvania that the state is expecting a surplus of over $800 million, indicating a strong financial position.

“We have about a month left before the June 30 deadline,” Costa mentioned.

While Republicans have proposed using the $14 billion surplus to reduce the state’s personal income tax from 3.07 percent to 2.8 percent, Costa believes that giving residents a direct payment might have a more immediate impact. He stressed the need to also invest in education and employment to ensure future tax revenue and sustain the program.

Governor Josh Shapiro has also promised to provide more financial help for older residents in 2024, building on Act 7 of 2023, which expanded the Property Tax/Rent Rebate (PTRR) program and increased the maximum rebate from $650 to $1,000.

Costa highlighted the importance of making Pennsylvania more tax-friendly, especially by addressing the state’s business tax cap. He argued that strategic investments alongside tax cuts would bring long-term benefits and revenue.

However, opposition from Republicans, including State Representative Tim O’Neal, suggests resistance to further increases in spending. O’Neal criticized Shapiro’s budget proposal, cautioning against “outrageous spending increases” that could lead to significant tax hikes.

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