– State Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) today said voters and policymakers in Pennsylvania need to face the fact that the Keystone State’s fiscal outlook will lead to higher taxes and reduced services unless drastic measures are taken – and soon.
Ryan pointed to a new mid-year report on the state's fiscal situation by the Independent Fiscal Office and Ryan warned that Pennsylvania continues to be headed the way of Detroit and Illinois.
The City of Detroit declared bankruptcy in 2013 after years and years of fiscal malfeasance.
Illinois currently struggles to recover from the nation’s most severe budget crisis, which almost saw the state’s credit rating lowered to “junk” status. An Associated Press investigation late last year found that $7.5 billion in bills had not yet been forwarded on to be paid by the state, and another $9 billion had been delivered but were going unpaid because of a lack of funds – leaving the state with a total of $16 billion in past-due bills.
In Pennsylvania, the IFO report cites shortfalls of $1.5 billion per year for the next five years.
Ryan continues to believe that the state has spending and efficiency problems and not a revenue problem and he opposes any tax increases.
The state is also facing a demographic crisis in which younger people are leaving the state, according to the IFO, and retirees are moving in. This trend, if not reversed, will significantly complicate eliminating property taxes, which is Ryan’s primary objective.
The IFO report predicts that by 2021, higher human services costs, pension obligations and the mounting debacle of ObamaCare’s unfunded Medicaid expansion mandate will result in a $3 billion budget deficit annually.
“As a financial professional whose job it was to rescue businesses from bankruptcy and insolvency, and as a military commander, I don’t make predictions casually,” Ryan said. “But I can assure voters and taxpayers that this report from the IFO will result in proposed tax hikes while residents continue to struggle to pay ever-increasing school property taxes. This is unacceptable”.
Ryan has prepared a detailed legislative solution to Pennsylvania’s money problems, which can be read and download at RepFrankRyan.com
The IFO report can be found at IFO.state.pa.us
Ryan also will present a three-pronged approach that will allow his financial rescue plan to be successfully implemented.
“It is not enough to present a rescue plan and ask for it to be adopted,” Ryan said. “There must be concrete steps taken at all levels of a business to rescue it from insolvency and government is no different. Therefore we must have financial oversight with actual power to bring about change, we must be specific about where we save money and we must unleash our local economies from the boat anchor of archaic property tax laws.”
Currently, Ryan is now putting the finishing touches on his own House Bill to eliminate property taxes. In addition, he will also be reintroducing his lean government bill and his auditor general enforcement bill once the new session starts on Dec.
“The clichés are endless, but the sad thing is that they aren’t really clichés – you can’t spend your way out of debt, and sooner or later you do run out of other people’s money, as witnessed by the continued exodus of younger Pennsylvanians moving to other states.” Ryan said. “The real solution is as time honored as those phrases – cut spending to pay your bills with the revenue you have.”
Representative Frank Ryan
101st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Charles Lardner