Legislative Update

Receive the latest news on Pennsylvania government and commentary on issues most affecting CPAs.

  • Week Ending March 22, 2019

    by PICPA Government Relations | Mar 22, 2019


    Greiner Bill to Aid Businesses with New 1099-MISC Obligation 

    PICPA member Rep. Keith Greiner, CPA (R-Lancaster), is sponsoring legislation to address certain ambiguities and shortcomings in the recently expanded Pennsylvania personal income tax (PIT) withholding provisions applicable to nonresident nonemployee compensation and real estate lease payments. Greiner and the members of the PICPA Committee on State Taxation have been collaborating on the measure.

    “Determining the income and payments made to nonresident vendors subject to Pennsylvania personal income tax withholding is cumbersome and time consuming,” said Greiner. “There are significant administrative responsibilities and compliance costs. Although the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has taken steps to mitigate the impact of the new law, further clarification and fixes are still needed.”

    House Bill 926 would provide businesses with more clarity in meeting their compliance responsibilities; mitigate payor liability for good faith compliance with the withholding provisions; consolidate withholding, remittance, and reporting provisions; and repeal certain reporting requirements.

    Act 43 of 2017 imposed complicated, confusing, costly, and burdensome PIT withholding and reporting requirements on businesses operating in the Commonwealth. The act also expanded costly reporting requirements with respect to when a business had to file a federal Form 1099-MISC reporting Pennsylvania source income with the Department of Revenue, even if no Pennsylvania PIT withholding was required.

    The bill is pending in the House Finance Committee.

     

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    Your Voice Matters: Attend PICPA’s Day on the Hill

    Every June, CPAs from across Pennsylvania come together in Harrisburg for PICPA’s premier legislative event, Day on the Hill. This year, with nearly 50 new legislators, having the profession’s voice heard in the halls of the state Capitol is more critical than ever.

    Event highlights include an insider's perspective on the 2019-2020 Pennsylvania budget cycle, the latest on tax proposals from state legislators, valuable interactions with PICPA committee representatives and the PICPA government relations team, and a presentation from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

    For additional information, check out this blog written by PICPA member R. Charles Waring, CPA, who is also a member of the CPA-PAC Board. In the blog, Waring provides first-hand insight on the event and his perspective on why you should consider attending. 

    A draft agenda for this year’s Day on the Hill event, which will be held on Tuesday, June 11, is available here. Event participants will earn three CPE credits.

     

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    Public Pension Forfeiture Bill Sent to Governor

    Legislation introduced by state Sen. John DiSanto (R-Dauphin, Perry) to ensure that public employees who commit job-related felonies are stripped of their taxpayer-funded pension is now on its way to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk. The governor has 10 days to act on the bill; he has said previously that he supports it.

    Currently, the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act requires a public employee to forfeit his or her pension only for certain crimes listed in the act. In practice, this law allows public employees charged with a forfeiture crime to plead guilty to a different nonforfeiture crime to avoid losing their pension.

    Senate Bill 113 would require pension forfeiture if a public employee or public official is convicted of, or pleads guilty or no contest to, any felony offense or other criminal offense punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding five years that is related to his or her employment.

    In addition, the legislation ensures that criminal convictions involving public officials are reported to state pension boards. Current law does not require the employee, courts, or state agencies to send copies of court records upon conviction.

     

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    Bill Allowing Carryover of Continuing Education Credits Passes House

    The state House unanimously approved a bill that would allow those licensed under the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs and subject to a continuing education (CE) requirement to carry over excess CE credits they earn to their next license renewal period.

    House Bill 64, sponsored by Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny), Democratic chair of the House Professional Licensure Committee, amends the current law to permit the carryover of excess credits. Carryover credits would be valid for one biennial renewal term only.

    Currently, 23 of the state’s 29 licensing boards require some amount of CE for license renewal. Of those boards with a CE requirement, only two (psychology and engineering) currently allow carryover of excess credits.

    The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

     

     

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    A Look at the Week of March 25

    Both the House and Senate convene in legislative session the week of March 25. Among the many committee meetings scheduled, two are of particular interest to the PICPA.

    The House Finance Committee will meet to consider several bills, including one championed by the PICPA. House Bill 706, sponsored by Rep. Keith Greiner, CPA (R-Lancaster), would permit the executor or administrator of a decedent’s estate to elect to file a combined annual income tax return for an estate and revocable trust during the period the estate is open. Other bills on the committee’s agenda include House Bills 24 and 262, and House Resolution 104.

    Also, the House Professional Licensure Committee will convene an informational hearing on the state's PA Licensing System (PALS), which is used by the State Board of Accountancy.

    For a complete listing of committee meetings and hearings for the week, visit the General Assembly’s webpage.

     

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    Workforce Development Bills Sent to Senate

    The state House gave final approval to a package of bills related to career and technical education (CTE). The bills would address the skills gap and worker shortages faced by industries across the state, as well as enhance educational programs and access to those opportunities for workers of all ages.

    The package includes measures concerning transfers of credits between institutions of higher education (HB 265); improving career information and recruitment (HB 297); concerning the commission for agricultural education excellence, the utilization of credits, and the classification of program codes (HB 334); creating an online career resource center (HB 393); requiring the Pennsylvania Department of Education to create an inventory of workforce development programs offered at secondary and post-secondary institutions (HB 394); requiring CTE programs to establish occupational advisory committees (HB 395); adding at least one administrator from a career and technical center to each Workforce Development Board (HB 396); and creating a CTE investment incentive program, including tax credits for businesses that contribute to CTE programs and enrollment expansion programs (HB 522).

    The bills now go to the Senate for consideration.

     

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    New Bill to Provide Paid Sick Leave to All Pa. Workers

    State Sens. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia, Montgomery) and Katie Muth (D-Berks, Chester, Montgomery) introduced legislation to ensure paid sick leave to all workers in the state, Senate Bill 13. Under this proposal, Pennsylvania companies would be required to provide paid sick leave, and employees could use it for their own care or the care of a family member, including a spouse, children, and parents.

    Hughes and Muth said similar legislation in California and Philadelphia have helped decrease lost workdays by allowing sick workers to stay home, preventing the spread of flu and other illnesses to others. In addition, they said at least 400,000 Pennsylvania workers would benefit from paid sick leave, particularly minimum wage and low-income workers in retail, hospitality, and other service sectors.

    The bill has been referred to the Senate Labor and Industry Committee.

     

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    School District Property Tax Forecast Report

    An Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) report forecasts fiscal-year school district property tax collections from 2017-2018 through 2023-2024. The report also contains projections of the Act 1 index and estimates of school district property taxes that can be attributed to homesteads.

    Total school property tax collections for fiscal year 2017-2018 ($14.5 billion) and fiscal year 2018-2019 ($14.9 billion) are estimated using millage rates published by the state Department of Education and property tax assessment data. For fiscal year 2019-2020 through fiscal year 2023-2024, collections are projected based on the statutory, economic, and structural factors that affect growth rates of property taxes. During that period, total school property tax collections are projected to grow at an average annual rate of 3.2 percent, reaching $17.3 billion by fiscal year 2023-2024.

    The department is expected to release actual collections for fiscal year 2017-2018 in late spring 2019.

     

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    State Rep. Ellis Resigns Amid Investigation

    State Rep. Brian Ellis (R-Butler) resigned his seat amid an ongoing sexual assault investigation. Ellis represented the 11th District in Butler since 2005.

    House Speaker Mike Turzai announced May 21, the same day as the Pennsylvania primary, as the special election date to fill the open state House seat vacated by Ellis.

    Republicans currently hold a 109 to 93 majority in the state House.

     

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Contact Government Relations

governmentrelations@picpa.org
Peter Calcara | 717-232-1821
Alexandra Fabian | 717-232-1821
Annette Knapp | 717-232-1821

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Rep. Mary Jo Daley: Attend Day on the Hill and Get Your Legislator's Attention
2018 Q&A with the DOR

The PICPA met with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue on Oct. 24, 2018. View the full transcript, watch the recording, or view past discussions from 2010-2017.

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