In this Edition:
Honoring the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." – Martin Luther King Jr., August 28, 1963
Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day across the nation. It’s a time to recommit ourselves to coming together as citizens, standing up to that which divides us, and ensuring equal opportunity for all.
Veterans Organizations Now Exempt from Realty Transfer Tax
Nationally recognized veterans organizations are now exempt from the Realty Transfer Tax, under a provision I co-sponsored in 2017.
Prior to the change, veterans organizations wishing to transfer property from the local home association to the post were not excluded from the 2 percent realty transfer tax despite their tax-exempt status. The Realty Transfer Tax exemption was introduced as Senate Bill 430, which was amended into Act 43 of 2017, the Tax Code bill.
The change was made necessary as the result of a 1998 state Supreme Court ruling that prompted American Legion home associations which did not have a liquor license but wished to obtain one to apply as an incorporated unit of a national veterans organization. The associations were advised to transfer all other realty and assets to the post to insulate the post and its assets from liability while still affording them the opportunity to have social or associate members who can contribute to the post’s financial success.
The new law exempts veterans organizations from the Realty Transfer Tax during such necessary transactions.
For organizations serving Pennsylvania’s veterans, covering costs is a constant challenge. The last thing government should be doing is imposing burdens that divert funds away from services for veterans. Other tax-exempt entities are excluded from the Realty Transfer Tax, and now organizations that serve veterans will receive the same treatment.
New Anti-Cruelty Law Covers Dogs Tethered Outside in the Cold
Pennsylvania’s recently enacted anti-cruelty law covers dogs who are tethered outside enduring harsh wintry conditions.
Under Act 10 of 2017, dogs cannot be tethered outside longer than 30 minutes in temperatures below 32 degrees.
You can find more information on the new tethering restrictions, as well as other offenses covered by Act 10, at this Humane Society resource page.
PennDOT Releases Latest Winter Service Guide
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is releasing the latest Winter Service Guide to help you prepare for cold weather driving conditions.
Key elements of the Guide are broken into categories to assist you with your preparations:
On pages 8-29, you can find PennDOT District Tools offering details on the number of snow lane miles, average snowfall, number of municipal agreements, amounts of salt and brine as well as the budgeted and actual expenditures to properly maintain snow and ice-covered roadways in PennDOT Maintenance Districts.
Around the 40th District
This week we recognized three new Eagle Scouts in the 40th Senate District and their significant achievements.
Troop 302 in Bethlehem honored Joseph Barbella and Daniel Bieniek at their joint Court of Honor. For his Eagle project, Joseph renovated a lounge area for the Allentown Rescue Mission, which included fresh paint, installation of new flooring, shelving, curtains and a new door. Daniel partnered with the Emmaus Wildlands Conservancy for his project to build trails on a new parcel of protected land, developing almost one mile of trails and installing a new foot bridge.
Antonios "Tony" Stylianides of Troop 74 in Stroudsburg was also recognized for obtaining the rank of Eagle. Tony constructed a community "ga-ga pit" in Alexandria, Greece for his project. A ga-ga pit is a Greek variant of dodgeball.
Congratulations to all of you and I wish you all the best as you continue your Scouting journey.
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2989 Route 611, Suite 103
Tannersville, PA 18372
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