The March 3 Council program will feature both Republican and Democratic Chairs of the House and Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committees to discuss what agricultural issues are likely to come up before the General Assembly.
In addition, PA Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding will present some of the Wolf Administration’s thinking on how PA Agriculture jobs and workforce development are central to Pennsylvania’s total economic well-being.
March 3 is also the day when Governor Wolf presents his State Budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015 to the General Assembly so expect plenty of buzz about the Department of Agriculture budget. The PSCFO Board truly hopes you will attend this informative and useful session.
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PSCFO Board member Hannah Smith-Brubaker has been named to serve the Commonwealth as a Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Previously, she served as President of the PA Farmers Union.
PSCFO President Brian Snyder (PASA) was appointed to a select advisory panel on food law and policy by UCLA School of Law.
On February 13, the US House of Representatives passed HR 636 by a vote of 272-142, a bill that makes permanent after 2014 the $500,000 allowance for the expensing of depreciable business property (section 179 property and the $2 million threshold after which the amount of such allowance is reduced. Both allowance and threshold amount are indexed for inflation for taxable years beginning after 2015. The taxpayer is allowed to revoke an election to expense section 179 property without first obtaining consent from the Department of the Treasury. There is one PA sponsor of the bill, Republican Rep. Ryan Costello from southeastern PA.
On Feb. 12, by a vote of 279-137, the US House passed HR 644 which includes the text of HR 641 sponsored by northwest PA Republican Rep. Mike Kelly providing a permanent tax incentive for farmers and ranchers to preserve non-developed land for future conservation. National affiliates of PSCFO members (AFBF and NACD) support the legislation.
The PA Department of Revenue released figures showing January 2015 General Fund revenue at $2.4 billion, bringing year to date collections $360.4 million over estimate. Breakdown showing year to date estimates are: Sales Tax $66.6 million more than anticipated; Personal Income Tax $400,000 over estimate; Corporate Tax Revenue $162.6 million more than anticipated; Inheritance Tax revenue $81.5 million more than anticipated; Other General Fund taxes (tobacco, malt beverage, liquor and table games) showed $23 million above estimate. On the negative side was the Real Estate Transfer Tax which came in $28.4 million below estimates.