Local Officials Urge Governor to Delay Business Tax Cuts, Restore Funding to Schools and Communities

A bipartisan group of local officials from across Pennsylvania urged Gov. Corbett and lawmakers to reject pressure to enact new business tax cuts and instead restore funding to schools and county human services. The group of 52 elected officials from both parties and all levels of local government sent a letter to the governor (and copied members of the Legislature) on Friday.

Download a PDF of the Letter 

June 1, 2012

Hon. Tom Corbett
Governor
Main Capitol Room 225
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Dear Governor Corbett:

As elected officials from across the state we write to express our grave concern about the proposed cuts to human services programs and to our local schools.  With the state’s revenue picture improving, we urge you to support full restoration of funding, to preserve our ability to educate our children and to deliver preventive and treatment services to our most vulnerable constituents.

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, our communities have faced reductions in state funding, higher demand for services and declining local revenues.  We have faced these challenges by reducing costs and streamlining service delivery, often making the difficult decision to reduce services, increase local taxes or both. 

The proposed cuts will devastate carefully developed systems for addressing homelessness, mental health, addiction services and intellectual disabilities.  They will jeopardize our ability to provide a high-quality education to every child.  We cannot manage cuts of this magnitude through streamlining or efficiencies.  Instead, counties will serve fewer individuals in prevention and treatment programs with the inevitable result that many will be treated in other, more costly systems.  Schools will not be able to reach children who need extra support to succeed, and those children will struggle to become productive, successful adults.  These outcomes are bad for the taxpayers and devastating for the individuals and their families. 

While our counties and schools are bracing for these cuts, the Commonwealth continues to propose a variety of additional tax cuts in the FY 12/13 budget.  Whatever the merit of the tax cuts may be, we have to question whether the timing for such tax cuts is appropriate.  Every time a decision is made to reduce revenue, it makes it that much more difficult to address the myriad responsibilities the Commonwealth is now attempting to shift to the local level. 

We are very concerned that the planned education and human services cuts continue a shift in costs and responsibility from the state to local governments.  Asking local residents to bear this responsibility while enacting state level tax cuts is an unfair and unnecessary burden.

We value our partnership with the Commonwealth in educating our children and ensuring our most vulnerable citizens are able to access services that help them live lives of dignity and independence.  We cannot keep our promise to these citizens with the resources the state plans to make available. We urge you to restore the proposed cuts to schools and human services and pledge to work with you to ensure that these services are delivered efficiently and accountably. 

Sincerely,

County

Tony Amadio Beaver County Commissioner
Brian Beader Mercer County Commissioner
Kathy Cozzone Chester County Commissioner
Ted Kopas Westmoreland County Commissioner
Craig Lehman Lancaster County Commissioner
Diane Marseglia Bucks County Commissioner
Dennis Nichols Beaver County Commissioner
Joe Spanik Beaver County Commissioner
John Stoffa County Executive, Northampton County 
Chelsea Wagner Allegheny County Controller
Vincent Zapotosky Fayette County Commissioner

Borough, Township, & City 

Sue Anderson Vice President, Penndel Borough Council
Det Ansinn President, Doylestown Borough Council
Don Berk Doylestown Borough
Craig Bowen Councilperson, Bristol Township
James Cunningham Supervisor, Northampton Township
John Curtaccio Supervisor, Brighton Township
Joe Davis Councilperson, Allentown
Ralph DiGuiseppe President, Bristol Borough Council
Robert Donchez Councilperson, Bethlehem
Joan Doyle Doylestown Borough
Brian Doyle Councilperson, Richlandtown Borough
Eric Evans Councilperson, Bethlehem
J. Richard Gray Lancaster City Mayor
Julio Guridy City Council President, Allentown
Barbara Heffelfinger Councilperson, Penndel Borough
Kevin Kelly Doylestown Borough
David Laustsen Doylestown Borough
Bob Lewis, Jr. President, Bristol Township Council
Amber Longhitano Councilperson, Bristol Township
Susan Madian Doylestown Borough
Dennis McCauley Doylestown Borough
Mark Piccirilli Supervisor, Brighton Township
Leo Plenski, Jr. Councilperson, Bristol Borough
Rick Pluta Councilperson, Bristol Township
Marlene Pray Doylestown Borough
Betty Rodriguez Councilperson, Bristol Borough
Dr. Kimberly Rose Treasurer, Northampton Township Board of Supervisors
Frank Rothermel Chairman, Northampton Township Board of Supervisors
Natalia Rudiak Councilperson, Pittsburgh
Lori Schreiber Councilperson, Abington Township
Daniel Shimshock Supervisor, German Township
Mike Smith President Pro-Tem, Penndel Borough Council
John Spiegelman Councilperson, Abington Township
Robyn Trunnell Vice President, Bristol Borough Council
Sandra Alercia Volcano Councilperson, Easton
Elnora 'Noni' West Doylestown Borough
Libby White Mayor, Doylestown Borough

School Board

Jeannette F. Maitin Abington School Board
Mark B. Miller Centennial School District School Board
Mary Jane Potena Paglione Bristol Borough School District School Board
Dr. Pat Volcano Jr. Easton Area School Board