Ciresi highlights investment in property tax relief, education in PA budget

HARRISBURG, July 6 – After his vote to approve the state budget this week, state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, highlighted its progress in education funding and significant expansion of property tax relief as the reasons for his support.

Pennsylvania’s 2023-24 budget includes $717 million in funding for public schools statewide, including $100 million in “Level Up” funding dedicated for the most underfunded school districts that Ciresi had pushed to include in the budget.

“While this budget doesn’t finish the job in addressing education underfunding, we’ve now come farther than ever before in shrinking the funding gap for our underfunded districts, especially our most-underfunded districts like Pottstown,” Ciresi said. “With the help of supplemental ‘Level Up’ funding to help these districts catch up, I’m proud that we’ve delivered almost $10 million in new, recurring state funding for Pottstown School District in the past three years. This funding is helping our schools and led to Pottstown residents even getting a local tax rebate this year.”

Locally, the budget increases funding for Montgomery County school districts, including $6 million in increased funding for school districts in the 146th Legislative District: 

  • Pottstown School District:                   $3,363,052 increase. 
  • Spring-Ford Area School District:       $1,588,175 increase. 
  • Pottsgrove School District:                 $1,002,686 increase. 

Alongside the passage of the state budget, the House passed H.B. 1100 to expand Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, increasing maximum eligibility income limits to $45,000 for both homeowners and renters and increasing the maximum rebate amount to $1,000. Ciresi had introduced legislation to expand the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program earlier this year and voted for H.B. 1100.

“This significant and long-overdue expansion of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program will mean 175,000 additional seniors and Pennsylvanians with disabilities will qualify for property tax and housing relief,” said Ciresi. “Those currently eligible will see hundreds more each year in expanded relief, and there are thousands of seniors who will now no longer lose eligibility next year because of their Social Security COLAs. By reducing reliance on property taxes with state funding for schools and expanding the PTRR Program, this budget will deliver meaningful property tax relief for our residents and especially our seniors.”

Among other highlights, the budget includes the following funding increases and new investments: 

  • An additional $23.5 million for career and technical education, including increasing equipment grants to CTE programs by 170%.
  • An additional $50 million for housing through the Whole Home Repairs program.
  • A $10 million increase in Violence Intervention and Prevention grants funding to help community-led efforts to improve public safety.
  • Providing $3.5 million for the Schools-to-Work Program, which grows partnerships between career and technical education at schools and employers to create opportunities for students.