Thursday, May 25, 2006

PA Spending Limits Discussion

Will have to watch a rebroadcast of the full discussion between Commonwealth Foundation's Matthew Brouillette and PA County Commissioners Association executive director, Doug Hill.

Caught the response to a caller's question: what is the role of government?

MB protect liberties, the common good for limited things like public safety, roads, public infrastructure, and so on.

DH agreed.

Thursday, May 25 - 7:00 p.m. LIVETopic: State Spending Caps Guests: Douglas Hill, Executive Director, County Commissioners Association of PAMatthew Brouillette, President, Commonwealth Foundation

Items of interest

CAPS Limit More Than Spending
By Douglas Hill
Executive Director

How strange that just as property tax reform moves forward, the General Assembly is poised to take action on a constitutional budget cap – a proposal that will surely result in the need to increase local property taxes. These imbalanced and incompatible actions quite clearly demonstrate that Pennsylvania has not yet grasped the clear connection between the services constituents’ demand of government, and the need for government to develop revenue streams to pay for those services.

Senate Bill 884 would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to impose spending caps on future Commonwealth budgets. The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) expresses opposition to the state spending cap legislation.

CCAP believes a cap on the state budget will result in decreased state funding of vital local services and increase pressure on local property taxes. Caps will result in the Commonwealth balancing its budget on the backs of local governments and local taxpayers. Pennsylvania residents should not be fooled.

The proponents of state spending caps claim the measure will “keep state governments from spending more than they take in,” or forcing government to “live within its means.” On the surface, this has very strong appeal and certainly resonates well with Pennsylvanians. But the flip side is that the artificial limits do hurt the residents who are forced to live under them.

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