House Approves $2,500 New Tax Credit From Pennsylvania for Police Officers, Teachers and Nurses

A new tax credit for teachers, nurses and police officers was approved by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Tuesday. Specifically, this proposed tax credit is to recruit new teachers, nurses and police officers.

Pennsylvania New Tax Credit: Who Will Get It?

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed the proposed tax credit (House Bill 1249) with bipartisan support. The bill passed with a 137-66 vote, with every Democrat and about one-third of Republicans voting in favor of the credit.

House Bill 1249, if approved, would provide tax credits to professionals newly certified in those fields or those already certified in another state but move to Pennsylvania. The credit is for a period of three years after the certified pe start working in the Commonwealth.

Eligible recipients will get a new tax credit from Pennsylvania of up to $2,500 annually for three years. A worker must earn almost $82,000, which is much higher than the starting salaries of the majority of nurses, teachers and officers, to get the full tax credit amount.

HB1249 covers many nurse certifications, nurse’s aides and some other ancillary roles. The credit amount will be refundable, meaning taxpayers could get a refund of the amount that their credits exceed their liabilities.

Arguments For And Against The Tax Credit

Gov. Josh Shapiro first pitched this credit in his budget request earlier this year. This new tax credit from Pennsylvania is a vital part of Gov. Shapiro’s budget proposal in which he hopes to attract more people in the category of police officers, nurses and teachers.

Democrats believe this new tax credit would help address manpower shortages in the listed categories.

“In no area are those shortages more painful and potentially more dangerous than the area of policing, nursing and the teachers that provide for our children,” Matthew Bradford, House Majority Leader, said.

Similarly, Rep. Brian Munroe (D-Bucks County) believes the tax credit would enable companies and government agencies to attract more and better candidates.

Republicans, on the other hand, criticize the proposed tax credit as it doesn’t help workers already in the field. The Senate Republicans, who call the proposed credit a “Band-Aid approach,” say that it lacks the caucus’s support.

Gov. Shapiro and lawmakers have more than a week to negotiate the budget before the start of the 2023-24 fiscal year.

Some Republicans also raised concern over the cost of the tax credit, arguing about the mismatch between the bill’s language and Gov. Shapiro’s estimate. The bill’s language reveals that the new tax credit from Pennsylvania, if approved for the current tax year, would cost $64.6 million in foregone tax revenue for the 2023-24 budget.

Gov. Shapiro’s budget proposal, on the other hand, shows the tax credit at $24.7 million. House Appropriations Chair Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia) cleared that the difference in the amount is mainly due to HB1249 including “more certification types than the initial estimate included in the budget proposal.”

This article originally appeared on ValueWalk

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