Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro is proposing a tax credit for newly certified teachers, police officers, and nurses to help address a workforce crisis in the state.
Tax Credit in Pennsylvania
The three-year incentive of up to $2,500 per year will be included in the governor’s budget plan, which is set to be unveiled on Tuesday. The tax credit aims to tackle the growing difficulty in filling critical positions in public safety, health, and education, following complaints from school boards, police departments, and hospitals.
“The trend lines on all three of these are getting worse,” Shapiro said. “So I think if we don’t act now, these numbers are just going to go up, and when I say ‘up’ I mean in a bad way,” according to a published article in AP News.
The proposed tax credit will apply to new certifications issued starting from 2023 and will be included on a newly certified worker’s tax return starting in 2024. Those eligible could receive the tax credit each year for the first three years after they receive their certification.
People who newly move to Pennsylvania with a state-recognized credential in one of the three fields will also be eligible for the tax credit. The amount of the tax credit will be on a sliding scale, depending on how much someone earns.
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How Much the Tax Credit Will Cost?
According to administration officials, the tax credit could cost the state almost $25 million, based on the three-year average of nearly 15,000 people a year getting certified in the eligible three professions.
In a published article in NBC10 Philadelphia, The state is currently operating on a $42.8 billion budget, with about $11 billion in surplus cash in the bank, giving Shapiro a cushion to propose new spending priorities. However, any new tax credit will require approval from the politically divided Legislature.
Police departments have seen a significant drop in applications over the past few years, with more than 1,200 officer vacancies in a survey of just one-third of the state’s accredited law enforcement agencies last year.
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania State Education Association has blamed a teacher shortage on a steep drop in the number of college graduates entering the profession. The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania said that one-third of registered nurse positions were vacant, a sharp increase over levels before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, US News reports.
The proposed tax credit aims to address these issues by incentivizing people to enter these fields and easing the burden on schools, police departments, and hospitals to fill critical positions. The tax credit is part of the governor’s effort to prioritize new spending priorities and to act quickly to address the workforce crisis in Pennsylvania.
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