Governor Approves Toepel’s Bill to Ensure Proper School Funding
7/10/2013

Measure will guarantee payments to Perkiomen Valley and Methacton school districts

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania now has a new law on the books to help the local area, as Rep. Marcy Toepel’s legislation to ensure that two Montgomery County school districts receive payments in lieu of taxes for tax-exempt land located within the districts was signed into law by the governor on Tuesday.

“I am pleased that this law passed through the General Assembly with bipartisan support, and that my colleagues realize the importance of making sure that schools receive all the necessary funding that are due to them,” said Toepel (R-Montgomery). “This law, combined with the increase in education funding under the final state budget, will help provide our local school districts with adequate funding to continue delivering a high quality education to our youth.”

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.

Act 61 of 2013 will 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. This law will ensure these payments can continue.

This law will take effect in 60 days. 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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