Local Residents Win Big at PA Farm Show
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#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

Local Residents Win Big at PA Farm Show

The 102nd Farm Show will wrap up Saturday, with hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to walk through the doors at the Farm Show Complex near Harrisburg. There’s still time to stop by if you haven’t yet visited the largest indoor exposition of its kind along the East Coast.

This week, I visited the Farm Show and had the chance to meet up with several residents who either entered their animals or products in competitive exhibits, participated in the many interactive contests, took in the entertaining and educational displays, or tasted the hundreds of different food items made right here in Pennsylvania.

Locally, the 183rd District is boasting a lot of blue-ribbon entries in this year’s Farm Show. Be sure to check out the list of winners on the Farm Show website. The site also includes hundreds of photos from the week, categorized by competition, and recipes from the award-winning baking contests.

Does Your Home Contain Radon?
An estimated 40 percent of Pennsylvania homes have higher levels of radon than national safety standards, due to the state’s geology. However, residents can perform a simple test to detect this gas, which is considered the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Radon is an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks and enters homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings. High levels of radon tend to be found in basements, but the gas can be found anywhere in the home.

Winter is a good time to test for radon, because doors and windows are generally closed, providing more accurate results. Simple radon test kits are inexpensive and available at home improvement and hardware stores.

January is national Radon Action Month. For more information on radon, testing and daily tips, click here.

Protecting Families’ Access to Gravesites
In allowing Pennsylvania families to grieve their loved ones, a new law taking effect in late February will ensure reasonable access to all cemetery visitors in Pennsylvania, regardless of property ownership. It also requires cemetery owners to honor burial plots sold by previous owners.

The legislation was the result of situations in which cemetery properties changed ownership over time.

Under Act 64 of 2017, cemetery owners are able to establish reasonable access procedures, as well as designate the frequency, hours and duration of cemetery visits. If the cemetery owners fail to comply with the new law, persons denied access to a burial plot can file a lawsuit in the county’s Court of Common Pleas where the property is located.

The Office of Attorney General also may bring an enforcement action against the owner for violating Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.

Report Reveals Success with 2017 Tax Amnesty Program

Nearly $143 million in state back taxes were recovered during a tax amnesty period occurring last spring, which was enacted as part of Act 84 of 2016.

After accounting for costs, more than $130 million in net revenue was generated, more than the original estimate of $100 million. The types of taxes collected (in descending order amounts) were corporation, sales and use, personal, employer withholding, inheritance, motor fuel, realty transfer, cigarette and other types.

Prior to the program’s start in April, notices were mailed to nearly 860,000 business and individuals with Pennsylvania tax delinquencies. In total, 35,430 taxpayers participated in the program.

Once the program ended, an additional 5 percent non-participation penalty was added to all amnesty-eligible accounts, with any unpaid, under-reported or unreported liability. Any taxpayers who received tax amnesty benefits must remain up-to-date with state taxes for two years; otherwise, the tax amnesty benefits may be revoked.

To read the report, click here.

PennDOT Driver License, Photo Centers Closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day Holiday
All PennDOT driver license and photo centers, including its full-service center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, Jan. 13, through Monday, Jan. 15, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, dmv.pa.gov.
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