Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director
510 S. 31st Street , Camp Hill, PA 17001 • 717.761.2740 • Email • @pfbmediaone
For Immediate Release: June 12, 2017
(Camp Hill) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) labeled pension reform legislation signed by Governor Tom Wolf today as a positive step forward in helping to address future liability risk to Pennsylvania taxpayers, but called on members of the General Assembly to pursue additional measures to reduce the state’s existing unfunded $70 billion pension liability.
“While changes under the new pension law will likely be helpful in the future, the absence of a meaningful plan to reduce the current pension debt load will continue to drain Pennsylvania’s financial resources and likely result in higher real estate property taxes for landowners and cuts to services in many school districts across the Commonwealth,” said PFB President Rick Ebert. “Because farmers need to own large amounts of land to remain economically viable, they are often hit the hardest by increasing property taxes.”
Farm Bureau notes that its members see school districts making tough choices regarding cutting programs, staff and services to address pension obligations and concedes that lawmakers will face challenges in crafting new legislation to address current unfunded liabilities.
“Farmers, other landowners and school districts are bearing the burden of the pension crisis. We’re asking the General Assembly to aggressively work to provide short-term and long-term solutions to address Pennsylvania’s $70 billion liability,” concluded Ebert.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of nearly 62,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.