State Capitol Roundup
12/21/2012

House Plans Full Agenda For 2013-14 Session

 


When members of the House are sworn in for the 2013-14 session in January, House Republican leaders aim to address several important issues. 
As with last session, facilitating private sector job creation will continue to be a major priority.  In addition to jobs, the House will also debate issues such as transportation funding, pension reform and liquor privatization.  Last session resulted in several new laws, including measures that reformed business taxes to provide a level playing field for employers; closed loopholes in the state’s Megan’s Law to protect children; established an impact fee on gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale; and provided additional benefits to the state’s veterans.  The House also adopted a fiscally responsible, on-time state budget two years in a row.


Legislation Aims to Protect Senior Citizens

Legislation will be reintroduced in the new session to give senior citizens additional time to rescind purchases made as a result of a home or phone solicitation.  The bill would increase the current three-day, right-of-cancellation period to 15 days for the purchase of goods and services by a person who is age 65 or older if the purchase is in excess of $25 and is the result of a door-to-door or telephone home solicitation.  According to an AARP study, more than 50 percent of telemarketing scam victims are over the age of 50.  For senior fraud prevention tips, visit the “Seniors” section at the attorney general’s website, www.AttorneyGeneral.gov.

 


PA 529 College Savings Program Offers Tax Savings to Enrollees

 

Tax benefits are available to Pennsylvania residents who open or contribute to a Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program.  Contributions made by Dec. 31 can help reduce the tax burden on returns filed next spring.  Taxpayers can deduct up to $13,000 per beneficiary in PA 529 contributions from Pennsylvania taxable income on state returns for 2012.  Married couples filing jointly can deduct up to $26,000 per beneficiary, if each spouse has taxable income of at least the amount deducted.  Additionally, family and friends can contribute up to $65,000 in a single year ($130,000 for a married couple filing jointly) for each beneficiary without incurring federal gift tax consequences.  Earnings in a 529 plan are not subject to yearly taxes as they grow, and when used for qualified higher education expenses, earnings are tax-exempt upon withdrawal.  To encourage more families to enroll in a program, free enrollment, a $50 savings, is available for all new PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) accounts opened by Dec. 31 at the 529 website.  Use the code TAXSMART when prompted.  The PA 529 College Savings Program is administered by the Pennsylvania Treasury Department and serves more than 167,000 accounts with more than $2.5 billion in assets under management.  For more information on the PA 529 College Savings Program or to enroll, visit www.KerryBenninghoff.com.

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