HARRISBURG – Senator Doug Mastriano (PA-33), together with Senator Mario Scavello (PA-40), announced that he is introducing legislation to generate millions in new revenue for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. The program has delivered more than $6.8 billion in relief to eligible Pennsylvanians since its inception in 1971.
Mastriano’s bill will place a 2% fee on international remittances conducted by a money transfer licensee or agent. An international remittance is a sum of money that is electronically sent out of the Pennsylvania economy and into the economies of international destinations. Remittances are primarily utilized by illegal immigrants, foreign workers, and non-US citizens to send earnings back to a foreign country. Over $70 billion dollars is transferred out of the United States and into the economies of recipient countries on an annual basis.
Oklahoma enacted a 1% fee on remittances in 2014 and now receives over $13 million in annual revenue for the state. Because Pennsylvania’s estimated foreign workforce is significantly higher than Oklahoma (590,000 vs. 150,000) and the fact that this fee will be 2%, revenue generated from the proposed Mastriano bill would likely result in at least four times as much annual revenue.
“Complex policy issues require creative solutions,” Senator Mastriano said. “Our economy loses out on millions of dollars earned by illegal immigrants and foreign workers here and then sent to help other countries. Meanwhile, our citizens struggle with absurd property tax rates and skyrocketing rent costs. This bill will direct tens of millions of new dollars to the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program to give much needed relief to struggling families.”
The bill will be officially introduced within the coming weeks.
Mastriano is also a co-sponsor with Senator Scavello on legislation that will initiate a transit program to send newly arriving illegal immigrants to the state of Delaware.
Contact: Josh Herman (Mastriano)