Apr. 13, 2017

Honoring Our Vietnam War Veterans


U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey hosted a ceremony for the veterans of the Vietnam War on April 12 at the AMVETS Post 103 in Hopwood. I was honored to participate along with Rep. Ryan Warner and other local officials.
Concealed Carry Seminar Coming Saturday, April 22

There is still time to register for my first Concealed Carry Seminar on Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Farmington Volunteer Fire Department, 119 Elliotsville Road in Farmington. This is an opportunity to learn the facts about Pennsylvania’s concealed carry laws and the Castle Doctrine.

Our main speaker will be Kim Stolfer, president of Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Against Crime.

Also speaking at the event will be Attorney Ed Bilik, Esq., and representatives from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department, Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Game Commission

Seating is limited and advance registration is required. If you would like to attend, please register online at RepDowling.com, or call my district office at (724) 438-6100.
Ending the Death Tax on Children

Legislation to eliminate the inheritance tax for transfers of property from a parent to a child age 21 and younger passed the state House recently. Currently, property transferred from a parent to a minor child is subject to an inheritance tax rate of 4.5 percent.

However, property transfers from a child age 21 or younger to a natural parent, adoptive parent or step-parent are exempt from the tax, and House Bill 291 seeks to exempt property transfers from the tax in the reverse order.

This would be especially beneficial to farmers who often leave the family farm to their children.

The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Protecting Tax Dollars

To give taxpayers greater peace of mind that their tax money is being deposited in the appropriate accounts, the House passed legislation recently to prohibit checks from being made payable to an individual.

House Bill 16 would require checks to be made payable to the name of the tax collector along with the office, title, or position and be deposited into a separate bank account only used for tax money.

Current law does not specify how taxes are to be paid, so it is left to individual tax collectors to determine how they want checks made out for the payment of taxes and in which account the tax money is to be deposited.

The legislation is now with the Senate for review.
Giving Life a Second Chance

To raise awareness of the life-saving benefits of organ donation, House Resolution 209 passed the House recently to designate April 2017 as National Donate Life Month in Pennsylvania.

According to Donate Life America, more than 33,000 transplants brought life to patients during the last year. However, more than 118,000 men, women and children still need organ transplants. In Pennsylvania, almost 8,000 people are on the organ transplant list and, on average, every 18 hours one of them will die waiting for the call that never comes.

About 4.6 million Pennsylvanians have said “yes” to organ and tissue donation by adding the donor designation on their driver’s license. In addition, more than 134 million people, or about 54 percent of the adult population in the United States, are registered donors.
Tax-Free Savings Accounts for People with Disabilities

Tax-free savings accounts aimed at helping people with disabilities save money for future care and services are now available through the Pennsylvania Treasury. The PA ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts are structured similar to tuition savings accounts and allow people with disabilities, their family members and friends to contribute up to $14,000 per year to a maximum account limit of $511,758. Once the limit is reached, accounts can continue to earn interest.

Withdrawals from the account will be exempt from both state and federal income taxes as long as the funds are used for “qualified disability expenses.” These include, but are not limited to, education, housing, transportation, employment training/support and assistive technology.

To receive the benefits of PA ABLE, the qualifying disability must have started prior to age 26.

For more information, click here.
My Audio Podcast

I am recording audio Legislative Report podcasts on a periodic basis. You can listen to them by clicking on the Audio Podcast link above the headline in this email, and all future ones.

All podcasts are on my website as well at RepDowling.com. Just click on the audio section in the left column.