Proposed changes to Pa. distressed-city law aired

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HARRISBURG – A state Senate hearing on proposed changes to Pennsylvania’s distressed-municipality law drew wide-ranging testimony about the financial pressures facing cities and towns.


Some municipal advocates on Thursday praised provisions calling for early state intervention to help financially troubled local governments avoid “distressed” status, while forcing those on the distressed list to resolve their problems within 10 years.


But others complained to the Senate Local Government Committee that the legislation doesn’t go far enough to address the root causes of municipal insolvency. Those include local taxing authority that’s outdated and inadequate, as well as the burden of property that is tax-exempt.


Pending House and Senate bills are based on the first legislative review of the law known as “Act 47” since it was passed in 1987.


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