20 July 2014 0 Comments

Infuriating Republicans Authorize $27 Bbillion Dollars More Pennsylvania Debt

 The debt burden affects everyone in Pennsylvania, directly and indirectly, although it is the Forgotten Taxpayer who works, saves and invests who pays. More government debt means less productive, job creating growth


Bbillions of Borrowing for Roads and Highways over and above the $7.3 to $7.5 Bbillion over 5 years from Act 89 of 2013?

Act 127 of 2014 and Act 129 of 2014 seems to leverage Act 89 of 2014 to use gas and fuel taxes and fees for more capital project borrowing.

Act 127 of 2014 authorizes $6,515,565,000 Road and Bridge Debt

Act 129 of 2014 authorizes $19,154,285,000 Road and Bridge Debt


Act 127 of 2014 HB 2244 “A Supplement to the act of December 8, 1982 known as the Highway-Railroad and Highway Bridge Capital Budget Act for 1982-1983, itemizing additional State and local bridge projects.“

Fiscal Note Act 127 of 2014 Senate Appropriations Committee: $6,515,565,000 Road and Bridge Debt Authorized

House vote Act 127 of 2014 2 July 200 YEA to authorize more debt 2 NAY and 1 LVE


Act 129 of 2014 SB 1344 “ An Act providing for the highway capital budget project itemization for the fiscal year 2014-2015 to be financed from current revenue or by the incurring of debt “

 Fiscal Note Act 129 of 2014  House Committee on Appropriations: $19,154,285,000 Road and Bridge Debt Authorized

House vote Act 129 of 2014 2 July 202 YEA to authorize more debt 1 LVE


Does this mean than money from the Gas and Fuel Tax, Act 89 of 2013 which, if I read the Fiscal Note from the House Committee on Appropriations taxes and spends $7,307,000,000 to $7,584,000,000 over five years. See page 9 chart of Fiscal NoteAct89 of 2013  of the House Committee on Appropriations

The money raised by Act 89 of 2013 gas and fuel tax can be used to borrow money and, in effect, leverage gas and fuel taxes to generate more spending and debt. Debt is deferred taxation so that, in effect, Act 89 of 2013 will cost even more than the Act 89 of 2013 would indicate. Do I understand this all correctly?

Further, given the $7.3 to $7.5 Bbillion raised by Act 89 of 2013 gas and fuel tax was to fix the crumbling roads and bridges falling down, why is Capital spending and capital borrowing needed?


Separately:   Capital Budget RACP authorizing debt for Capital Projects


If the full authorization of $1,295,000,000 was incurred and bonds were sold at an interest rate of 3,25% the total estimated debt service would be $1,781,373,000 or $89,069,000 each year for twenty years

Act 128 of 2014 HB 2355  Fiscal Note Act 128 of2014  Committee on Appropriations $1,781, 373,000,000 Debt Authorized

“Act providing for the capital budget for the fiscal year 2014-2015; itemizing redevelopment assistance capital projects to be constructed or acquired or assisted by the Department of Community and Economic Development, together with their estimated financial costs; authorizing the incurring of debt without the approval of the electors for the purpose of financing the projects to be constructed, acquired or assisted by the Department of Community and Economic Development; and making appropriations.”

House Vote Act 128 of 2014  2 July 2014  172 voted YEA to authorize more debt; 27 voted NAY to authorizing  and 2 were LVE

9 Democrats voted NAY  18 Republicans  voted NAY

 For list of Capital Budget submissions and grants, see Governor’s Department of Budget Office Redeve Redevelopment Assistance Capital Budget


Tax revenues are a reliable indicator of real world commercial activity

Gambling revenues decline resulting in lower revenue for the state operated programs

Labor market participation falls in Pennsylvania

The state’s unemployment rate was unchanged last month as more people dropped out of the labor force.

The jobless rate was 5.6 percent in June, the same as in May, and employers added a meager 1,800 jobs, according to the Department of Labor & Industry’s monthly labor market report on Friday.

The number of Pennsylvanians who reported they were unemployed fell by a seasonally adjusted 6,000 to 357,000, the report showed. But the civilian labor force declined by 28,000 people to 6,403,000

Commonwealth Foundation 15 May 2014 Pennsylvania State Budget

Rising Debt and Tax Burden

  • From 2002 to 2013, Pennsylvania state debt—including debt held by state agencies—more than doubled, from $23.7 billion to $50.4 billion.
    • Today, Pennsylvanians owe $128.6 billion in combined state and local government debt, or a little more than $10,000 for every man, woman, and child.

Pennsylvania State & Local Government Debt


Debt Outstanding

Per Person

Total State






   State Agencies & Authorities



Total Local



   School Districts









Sources: Governor’s Executive Budget (http://www.budget.state.pa.us) December 2013 data; PA Dept of Education (http://www.pde.state.pa.us) June 2012 data; U.S. Census Bureau (http://www.census.gov/govs/www/estimate.html) 2013 data
  • Pennsylvania has the 10th highest state and local tax burden in the nation, up from 24th in 1991, according to the Tax Foundation.


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