Ciresi highlights significant investment in property tax and rent relief in Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal

HARRISBURG, March 7 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, reacted to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposed 2023-24 budget unveiled today before a joint session of the General Assembly.

“I was glad to hear a vision to invest in important and necessary priorities of property tax relief, mental health, school facilities, and public safety in Governor Shapiro’s first budget,” Ciresi said. “The call to expand the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program, which I’ve proposed legislation to do, would be a significant investment in housing affordability, providing property tax and housing relief to more than half a million seniors and individuals with disabilities.” 

The budget proposed expanding the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program by raising income eligibility caps to $45,000 for both homeowners and renters, indexing eligibility caps to inflation, and increasing maximum rebates to $1,000. These changes, the first major update since 2006, would expand program eligibility to 173,000 individuals, and increase assistance to an additional 398,000 people.

Ciresi said the proposed budget also includes an additional $671 million for basic and special education statewide, delivering an increase of $5.8 million to school districts in the 146th District, including:

  • Pottsgrove School District: $1.2 million.
  • Pottstown School District: $2.9 million.
  • Spring-Ford Area School District: $1.7 million.

“The additional funding for safe and healthy schools is a good foundation to ensure every student can learn in an environment where they can succeed,” Ciresi said. “I look forward to working for additional support for public education to help all of our students and taxpayers, while pushing for comprehensive reform to our out-of-date charter school law.” 

Shapiro’s budget also proposes significant investments in providing a safe learning environment for all students, providing a total of $300 million for school facility repairs, school safety and security, and ensuring access to school-based mental health supports.

“Our mental health system has long struggled with underfunding and record demand, but this budget makes important investments in closing this gap,” Ciresi said. “As I’ve been an advocate for more robust support for mental health, especially to ensure necessary supports for our children, I’m glad to see millions in new funding proposed for school-based and county mental health services.”

Shapiro’s budget proposal creates a new $100 million grant program for school-based mental health supports, invests an additional $20 million for county mental health services, and provides funding to get services to 850 people on intellectual disability waiting lists.

Other key provisions from the budget proposal include:

  • Supporting public safety and safe schools and streets, by hiring an additional 384 state troopers, providing $20 million for Pennsylvania State Police equipment upgrades, and allocating $100 million for school safety and $105 million for community violence prevention programs.
  • An additional $17.3 million for Career and Technical Education programming, including increasing equipment grants to CTE programs by 60%, expanding access to and enrollment in CTE programs statewide, and bringing more trade and industry professionals into the classroom.
  • Phasing out diversion of Motor License Fund revenue to State Police over five years, creating a separate, dedicated, and reliable funding source for public safety while committing gas tax revenues to their intended purpose of supporting important transportation projects. With additional investments in road and bridge projects over the next five years, Pennsylvania can maximize expected federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.