Gov. Josh Shapiro has proposed a three-year tax incentive of up to $2,500 a year for newly certified teachers, nurses, and police officers.
A $2,500 Tax Incentive Proposed By Gov. Josh Shapiro
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro announced he will propose a three-year tax incentive of up to $2,500 annually for newly certified teachers, nurses, and police officers in his upcoming budget address. The incentive is a tax credit created to support and address complaints from school boards, police departments, and hospitals about the growing difficulty in filling critical positions in public safety, health, and education, administration officials said.
Under the proposal, the tax credit would be applicable to new certifications issued beginning in 2023 and could be included on a newly certified worker’s tax return starting in 2024. The state would send a check back to someone whose certification qualifies, according to administration officials. Those who qualified for tax incentives could obtain the tax credit each year for the first three years after they get the certification from the state. People who newly reside in Pennsylvania with a state-recognized credential in one of those three fields also would be qualified for it. The amount of the Tax Incentive would be on a sliding scale, relying on how much someone earned, administration officials said.
The State Could Cost Almost $25 Million For The Tax Incentive
The estimated cost is almost $25 million, based on the three-year average of nearly 15,000 people a year getting certified in the eligible three professions. The state is currently working on a $42.8 billion funding, and has about $11 billion in surplus cash in the bank, providing Shapiro a cushion to propose new spending priorities. According to Shapiro, the Police departments have seen applications fall dramatically over the past few years and the commission that oversees the training and certification of municipal police officers discovered more than 1,200 officer vacancies in a survey of just one-third of the state’s accredited law enforcement agencies last year.
On the campaign trail, Shapiro had pledged to support police departments recruit 2,000 more police officers. The state’s largest teachers’ association, the Pennsylvania State Education Association, has blamed a lack of educators on a steep drop in the number of college graduates joining the profession. It has asked the state to fund a plan to set minimum salaries at $60,000 a year for teachers, school counselors, and nurses. Moreover, the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania said a survey of 70 hospitals in November discovered that one-third of registered nurse positions were available, a sharp boost over levels before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The association has requested for the state to make it easier for nurses to obtain licenses, to help make healthcare education cheaper and more convenient, and to relax regulations that make it difficult to concentrate on innovation, telehealth, and patient care.
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