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Freeman bill to help communities with high percentage of tax-exempt properties moved out of committee

(Jan 22, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 22 – A bill introduced by Rep. Robert Freeman to financially help municipalities with high levels of tax-exempt property cleared its first hurdle today when the House Local Government Committee reported out the bill by a 22-1 vote. Tax-exempt property that may impact municipalities include colleges and universities, nonprofit medical facilities, county and other government offices or state forests and game lands. "Because of the effect tax-exempt properties have on the real estate tax base of several communities in the Lehigh Valley and across Pennsylvania, affected municipalities often have difficulty providing the essential services expected from local government," said Freeman, D-Northampton. "By providing annual funding to these municipalities, we can enable them to fix and maintain infrastructure and to provide the essential services that ensure the health and safety of their residents." House Bill 1677 would establish the Tax-Exempt Property Municipal Assistance Fund to help municipalities with 15% or more of their total assessed property value as tax-exempt property within their borders. It would be funded by the state's existing 18% Liquor Tax, known as the Johnstown Flood Tax. "The Johnstown Flood Tax was created to help Johnstown rebuild after it was devastated by a flood in 1936," Freeman said. "That was a long time ago, and that money can be used to help other communities facing Read more

 

Rep. Freeman helps secure $67,500 in state funding for local projects

(Jan 22, 2020)

State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, today announced that his area will benefit from a share of state funding awarded to the 136th Legislative District. Read more

 

Freeman announces $50,000 in state funding approved for Easton community revitalization effort

(Dec 30, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 30 – State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, today announced that Easton will receive $50,000 through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Keystone Communities Program. The funding will be used by the Greater Easton Development Partnership in collaboration with the Easton Main Street Initiative for property and business owners in the form of matching grants for renovations, restorations and repairs to existing building façades and new signage benefitting at least ten storefronts. “This funding will help to restore and enhance façades to assist Easton’s ongoing revitalization, which has made it an attractive place for visitors and residents alike,” Freeman said. “By making investments like this, our local businesses will continue to boost our economy and help enhance the quality of life for everyone who lives in or visits Easton.” The Keystone Communities program supports local initiatives designed to grow and stabilize neighborhoods and communities, foster effective public-private partnerships and enhance the overall quality of life for residents. More information on the program can be found here . Read more

 

Freeman bill would provide voters with additional campaign contribution reports

(Dec 18, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 18 – State Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Northampton, has introduced legislation that would require Pennsylvania House and Senate candidates to file campaign expense reports at more frequent intervals in order to create a more transparent record-keeping process during an election year. The legislation (H.B. 2142) would require candidates for the Pennsylvania General Assembly to also file campaign expense reports on or before the sixth Tuesday before the election. They are currently only required to file on the second Friday before the election, but this legislation would add the additional filing, matching the campaign expense report filing requirement of candidates for statewide office. "The change would provide earlier disclosure and greater transparency on who is contributing to candidates for the General Assembly," Freeman said. "This is information voters should have access to earlier in a campaign than they currently do." The currently required second-Friday expense report is filed just 10 days before the election. Freeman said that filing comes so close to the election that the information about where a candidate is getting contributions tends to get lost in the last week of campaign literature and other information. "This would put everything on the table and allow voters to see who is backing which candidates and what they stand for, or more importantly, who they stand with," Freeman said. "It Read more

 

Click here to learn more about this year's holiday diaper drive

(Dec 04, 2019)

Freeman, Samuelson holding holiday diaper drive through Jan. 25. The drive will go through Jan. 25 at Freeman’s office at 215 Northampton St., Easton and Samuelson’s office at 104 E. Broad St., Bethlehem. Read more

 

Freeman introduces property tax circuit breaker legislation

(Nov 20, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 20 – Homeowners would be protected from property tax overload under legislation (H.B. 2074) introduced by state Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton. “Many families and especially older Pennsylvanians on a fixed income are struggling to stay in their homes as property taxes rise and the bills get more difficult to pay,” Freeman said. Under H.B. 2074, the state constitution would be amended to allow property tax circuit breakers to be used in Pennsylvania. It would allow local taxing authorities to exempt a taxpayer from paying the portion of their property tax that exceeds a certain set percentage of their household income. “My proposal would amend our state constitution to allow for property tax circuit breakers to be used in Pennsylvania. A property tax circuit breaker is quite simple: it would protect taxpayers from a property tax overload just like an electric circuit breaker. Specifically, it would allow local taxing authorities to exempt a taxpayer from paying the portion of their property tax that exceeds a certain set percentage of their household income,” Freeman said. “This proposal will offer Pennsylvania homeowners needed property tax relief and build fairness into the property tax system by ensuring that property taxes never exceed a set percentage of household income,” he said. In Pennsylvania, a proposed constitutional amendment Read more

 

Freeman announces $428,200 in grants to renovate parks

(Nov 14, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Robert Freeman said $428,200 in state grants will lead to renovations and improvements at local parks in Hellertown and Williams Township. Read more

 

Freeman announces $1.33M in grant funding for Easton

(Nov 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 12 -- A $1.33 million state grant will fund safety improvements along Bushkill Drive in the city of Easton, state Rep. Robert Freeman announced today. Read more

 

Freeman votes to support fire companies, emergency medical services

(Oct 30, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 30 – State Rep. Robert Freeman recently voted for several bills that would provide more support to fire companies and emergency medical service providers across Pennsylvania. Read more

 

New Life: Redeveloping PA Factories and Mills

(Oct 15, 2019)

EASTON, Pa. (WLVT) - The Simon Silk Mill is hard to miss. It was built in 1883 and abandoned in the 1960s -- but now, it's home to residents and businesses. Read more

 

$52,000 in Pa. Farm Bill grants received in Easton

(Oct 02, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 2 – State Rep. Robert Freeman said two Urban Agriculture Grants totaling more than $52,000 were awarded today to Easton-area projects. Read more

 

House passes Freeman bill to extend participation in Main Street program

(Sep 25, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 25 – The state House of Representatives today unanimously passed legislation that would allow communities to extend their participation in the state’s Main Street program from five years to 10 years, announced the bill’s author Rep. Robert Freeman. Read more

 

House votes to mandate ethics requirements for Act 47 coordinators

(Sep 23, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 23 – The state House of Representatives today passed legislation that would require compliance with ethics statutes for Act 47 coordinators appointed to assist financially distressed municipalities, according to the bill’s sponsor Rep. Robert Freeman. Read more

 

Freeman bill would promote redevelopment of abandoned factory buildings

(Sep 18, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 18 – New state tax incentives would be created to promote redevelopment and reuse of vacant factory or mill buildings in municipalities in Pennsylvania, under legislation reintroduced by state Rep. Robert Freeman. Read more

 

Freeman announces $70,000 grant awarded to Lafayette College greenways project

(Sep 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 17 – State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, today announced $70,000 in state funding has been awarded to Lafayette College for its greenways study project. The grant, approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, will allow Lafayette College to complete a 10-month study to analyze and design options for the development of trails, parks, and surrounding greenways along the Bushkill corridor in Easton. “This grant will play a vital role in creating new trails, parks, and green space for the local community and visitors alike to use and enjoy,” said Freeman. “This greenway project will enhance the quality of life in the Easton area and will build upon the success of the wonderful natural resource that is the Karl Stirner Arts Trail.” The project is a collaboration between Lafayette College, the Karl Stirner Arts Trail Inc., and the city of Easton to transform the former Easton Iron Works and Metal Co. site into usable and thriving public space. The total cost of the project is $82,760. Read more

 

$3.75 million awarded for Easton redevelopment projects

(Aug 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 1 – Two building renovation projects will bring housing and commercial development to downtown Easton, thanks in part to $3.75 million in grants awarded today, according to state Rep. Robert Freeman. Read more

 

Freeman pleased with $1 million housing grant in Easton

(Jul 11, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 11 – The Mill at Easton project will benefit from a $1 million grant awarded through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation fund, announced state Rep. Robert Freeman. Read more

 

Freeman bill would make state-offered health insurance an affordable option

(Jun 28, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 28 – Permitting the State Workers’ Insurance Fund to sell health insurance would make health insurance more affordable, under legislation (H.B. 1679) introduced by state Rep. Robert Freeman. Read more

 

Freeman bill would establish tutoring program in all Pa. public schools

(Jun 27, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 27 – Although the school year ended several weeks ago, state Rep. Robert Freeman is looking ahead to improving academic performance in future school years. Under legislation introduced by Freeman, students in 11th and 12th grade would receive academic credit for tutoring elementary school-aged children. Read more

 

Freeman bill would help communities with high percentage of tax-exempt properties

(Jun 26, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 26 – Municipalities with high levels of tax-exempt property, such as major universities, nonprofit medical facilities, government offices or state forests and game lands would be eligible for special financial assistance from the state, under legislation introduced by Rep. Robert Freeman. Read more

 

Freeman bill to help communities with high percentage of tax-exempt properties moved out of committee
Jan 22, 2020

Rep. Freeman helps secure $67,500 in state funding for local projects
Jan 22, 2020

Freeman announces $50,000 in state funding approved for Easton community revitalization effort
Dec 30, 2019

Freeman bill would provide voters with additional campaign contribution reports
Dec 18, 2019

Click here to learn more about this year's holiday diaper drive
Dec 04, 2019

Freeman introduces property tax circuit breaker legislation
Nov 20, 2019

Freeman announces $428,200 in grants to renovate parks
Nov 14, 2019

Freeman announces $1.33M in grant funding for Easton
Nov 12, 2019

Freeman votes to support fire companies, emergency medical services
Oct 30, 2019

New Life: Redeveloping PA Factories and Mills
Oct 15, 2019

$52,000 in Pa. Farm Bill grants received in Easton
Oct 02, 2019

House passes Freeman bill to extend participation in Main Street program
Sep 25, 2019

House votes to mandate ethics requirements for Act 47 coordinators
Sep 23, 2019

Freeman bill would promote redevelopment of abandoned factory buildings
Sep 18, 2019

Freeman announces $70,000 grant awarded to Lafayette College greenways project
Sep 17, 2019

$3.75 million awarded for Easton redevelopment projects
Aug 01, 2019

Freeman pleased with $1 million housing grant in Easton
Jul 11, 2019

Freeman bill would make state-offered health insurance an affordable option
Jun 28, 2019

Freeman bill would establish tutoring program in all Pa. public schools
Jun 27, 2019

Freeman bill would help communities with high percentage of tax-exempt properties
Jun 26, 2019