Toepel’s Bill to Ensure Proper School Funding Heads to Senate
6/4/2013

Measure would guarantee payments to Perkiomen Valley and Methacton school districts

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today unanimously passed legislation authored by Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery) which would ensure that two Montgomery County school districts receive payments in lieu of taxes for tax-exempt land located within the districts.

“School budgets, as well as budgets across all levels of government, have been reduced over recent years and it’s important that we continue to provide all necessary funding to schools which are deserving,” said Toepel.

Under the current Forest Reserves Municipal Financial Relief Law, Pennsylvania is required to make “payments in lieu of taxes,” as long as state-owned forest lands are leased at 90 percent or more of their fair market value for residential or commercial purposes, and consist of 75 or more leased portions of land. Agricultural operations are not included under this law.

House Bill 1359 would amend the law to reduce the number of leased sections of land for Evansburg State Park to 30 or more leased parcels of land.

That’s because the number of leased parcels that meet the criteria for state payment at Evansburg State Park was decreased to 65 in recent years with no intention of adding more parcels. As a result, payments to the Perkiomen Valley and Methacton school districts – located in the park’s coverage area – have been refused, immediately having a negative financial impact on each school district.

“Although requests for payments over the years have exceeded actual payments, the funding has been considerable — more than $3 million over the past 10 years,” said Toepel. “To ensure these payments can continue, legislation is required to amend current law.”

If approved, this legislation would take effect 60 days after being signed into law. For more legislative information, visit Toepel’s website at RepToepel.com or follow her legislative Facebook page at Facebook.com/RepToepel.

Representative Marcy Toepel
147th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Lauren Whetzel
717.260.6451
lwhetzel@pahousegop.com
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