Feed aggregator

Main Line TD Banks Accepting Donations For Meal-Providing Group

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Fri, 2017-07-28 10:51
Monetary donations will help the Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance feed people battling life-threatening illnesses.
Categories: Lower Merion

Mill Creek Road Closing Friday: Lower Merion Township

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Fri, 2017-07-28 09:18
The road will be close until early afternoon, the township said.
Categories: Lower Merion

Overnight Lane Closures Scheduled On Route 422 Next Week

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Fri, 2017-07-28 09:00
More lane closures are coming to Route 422 in the Valley Forge area next week.
Categories: Lower Merion

Montgomery County Woman Dies At Age 103

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Fri, 2017-07-28 09:00
Helen W. Vaughan, aged 103, passed away last week. The longtime local volunteer and resident was born in 1913.
Categories: Lower Merion

Open Houses This Week In Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Fri, 2017-07-28 08:30
We've rounded up nearby open houses happening this weekend.
Categories: Lower Merion

McGarrigle delivers on severance tax

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2017-07-28 07:37
Tom McGarrigle has been down this road before.

Just ask former Gov. Tom Corbett.

McGarrigle made it clear back when he was first running for the 26th District Senate seat held by Republican Ted Erickson that he supported a severance tax on the state's natural gas drillers.

That put him famously at odds with the man sitting at the top of the GOP ticket that year. That would be incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett, who was running on "no new taxes campaign." The governor opted for an "impact fee" as opposed to a new tax.

McGarrigle is now serving in the Senate; Corbett is enjoying his retirement.

McGarrigle was joined by fellow Republican Sen. Tom Killion, R-9, in crafting the funding package that squeaked past the Senate in a 26-24 razor thin margin.

It includes the state's first severance tax on natural gas drilling.

It's still not what McGarrigle would like, but it's what he will have to settle for.

"I wanted 4 percent," McGarrigle told me shortly after the measure passed the Senate Thursday morning. "But there was no way we were going to get it."

What he got was 2 percent of the gross value of the natural gas at the wellhead. It's expected to raise $100 million. That's a lot less than what would have been raised under Gov. Tom Wolf's initial proposals in his first two years, 6.5 percent and then 5 percent the next year. Both proposals were dead on arrival in the GOP-dominated Legislature.

The package passed by the Senate will cost just about everyone, with hikes for gas heat as well as electric customers, cell and phone bills, and extending the sales tax to some online purchases.

The bulk of the money will come from borrowing as much as $!.3 billion from the tobacco settlement fund.

McGarrigle said he was "happy" because the plan is a start.

"When I sought this Senate seat, I pledged to make securing a severance tax on gas drilling a top priority," McGarrigle said. "It is a responsible way to generate desperately needde revenue for schools and other Commonwealth obligations."

Now it goes to the House.

But McGarrigle has held up his end of the deal.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Doing the math in Harrisburg

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2017-07-28 07:19
On today's editorial page, we discuss the fantasyland of Pennsylvania budget mathematics in Harrisburg.

Fantasyland collided with reality this week.

In other words, Republicans in the Senate - including Delco's own Sen. Tom McGarrigle, R-26, of Springfield, - realized the numbers simply were not going to add up.

That's what happens when you pass a $32 billion spending plan with only $30 billion in revenue.

The result? Everyone is likely to pay a little bit more. That includes the state's natural gas drillers, who now will pay a severance tax for the first time.

Maybe.

That's because the measure now goes to the House, where Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, has been adamantly opposed to any new tax hikes. Turzai has been toying with the idea of running for governor. Tax hikes won't make that chore any easier.

And every member of the House runs for office every two years.

The measure passed by a razor-thin 26-24 margin in the Senate.

Expect more of the same in the House.

You can read our editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Scaramucci goes off

Heron's Nest - Fri, 2017-07-28 07:05
Let me just say this:

I have been in my share of locker rooms - and newsrooms as well. I know how rough the language can get, although to be honest newsrooms aren't nearly what they once were.

Anthony Scaramucci could hold his own on any of them.

The Trump Administration's new communications boss did some X-rated communicating of his own, basically blowing a gasket in a profanity-laced tirade - on the record - with a reporter from The New Yorker against White House leaks, and in particular Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

If you haven't read it, you can see it here.

Caution, this one is for adults only.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Emergency Water Main Work Closing Road In Lower Merion Friday

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-07-27 17:07
Find out where the work will be done to avoid a potential traffic headache.
Categories: Lower Merion

Video Of Anti-Cop Graffiti Suspects Released, Reward Offered

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-07-27 16:51
A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to arrests, according to the Associated Press
Categories: Lower Merion

Montco Sheriff's Office Launches Scholarship Foundation For Employees

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-07-27 16:42
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office has created a special scholarship program for employees and their families attending Montco.
Categories: Lower Merion

Patch Contributor Roundup: 90th Birthday Celebration; Willy Wonka Spoof; Ride For The Heroes; More Local News

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-07-27 16:30
Some of the best and most useful content comes from the Patch community. Here's a roundup of stories from this week.
Categories: Lower Merion

The Hidden Symbols Of The Historic Montgomery Cemetery

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-07-27 15:49
What hidden meanings are held in the carved tombstones of the Historic Montgomery Cemetery?
Categories: Lower Merion

LETTER: Improve Planned Parenthood Rights In Montgomery County

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-07-27 15:33
"Women in Montgomery County may not have access to Planned Parenthood benefits, for the wrong reasons."
Categories: Lower Merion

Barking Dog Alerts Radnor Resident To Burglar: Police

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-07-27 13:47
Man's best friend stepped up during an attempted burglary Wednesday evening, according to Police. Give that dog a treat or 10, we say.
Categories: Lower Merion

Elmwood Park Zoo's Green-Winged Macaw Passes Away

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-07-27 13:41
Rojo, a green-winged macaw and "staff favorite" at Elmwood Park Zoo, has passed away, zoo officials announced.
Categories: Lower Merion

Main Line Theater Hosting Open Auditions For Dog-Themed Play

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-07-27 13:04
Teens and adults are sought to auditions for "The Perfect Dog," which will be presented as a lead in to the National Dog Show in November.
Categories: Lower Merion

Gas Leak Evacuates Lower Merion Twp. Building Tuesday: Report

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-07-27 11:10
Crews stuck a gas main, causing traffic disruptions and forced the township administrative building to be evacuated Tuesday night.
Categories: Lower Merion

Montco's Historic, Massive 'Methacton Oak' Felled By Storm

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2017-07-27 08:00
The massive tree has stood in Montgomery County since before the time of William Penn, dating to about 1634.
Categories: Lower Merion

Everyone - including gas drillers - will pay more under Pa. Senate plan

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2017-07-27 06:08
Here's the bottom line on the ongoing budget battle in Harrisburg.

The numbers did not change, no matter how much cajoling and arm-twisting was done.

The Legislature passed a $32 billion spending plan, but only accounted for about $30 billion in revenue.

You do the math.

Pretty hard to make those numbers add up.

That finally appears to have sunk in with members of the state Senate. Today they are poised to approve a revenue package that will cost just about everyone a little more - and which will include a new severance tax on the state's natural gas drilling business. The push for new revenue - and the long-sought severance tax - was backed by moderate Republicans from southeastern Pa., including state Sen. Tom McGarrigle, R-26, of Springfield.

Here's what the Senate wants to do to close the state spending gap:

* Slap a new tax of 2 cents per thousand cubic feet of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale regions. That would raise an estimated $100 million, less than what was proposed in the past by Gov. Tom Wolf, who first proposed a 6.5 percent levy, than a 5 percent levy in his first two budgets. Both plans failed.

* Of course the state also is going to borrow more money - this time as much as $1.3 billion.

* There will be a new tax on natural gas - on that will hit customers in the wallet - of 5.7 percent, or $5.70 on a bill of $100.

* Hike the tax on home electric bills from 5.9 percent to 6.5 percent.

* Increase the tax on home and cell phone bills from 5 percent to 6 percent.

* Extend the state's 6 percent sales tax to sales in online marketplaces run by third-party vendors.

* The state would take $200 million from the nonprofit Pennsylvania Professional Liability Joint Underwriting Association, an organization created by state law in 2002 to offer medical malpractice insurance. The association sued in federal court to block the state from borrowing that amount in the recently ended fiscal year.

Of course, the state also will look for a boost - in the neighborhood of $200 million - from increases in casino gaming.

While this plan is expected to gain approval in the Senate today, it faces a much sterner test in the House, where Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, has made clear he is opposed to any new taxes.

Turzai is believed to be considering a run for governor.

It will be interesting to see if he holds fast in opposing new taxes, in particular that long-sought new levy on natural gas drilling in the state.

You can get all the details on the new Senate revenue plan here.

In the meantime, we'll be talking to Sen. McGarrigle and other Delco senators to see where they stand.
Categories: Pennsylvania