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Innovation & Growth Initiative: Montgomery County Benchmark
Learn about Abington's Next Century. To access a white paper that compares Abington to the rest of Montgomery County, click here >
Nick Mattiacci (R)
Candidate for Pennsylvania State House of Representatives
District 153 See Map >
Q. How can a state representative have a meaningful and positive impact on the quality of education among local K-12 schools as well as colleges, while at the same time being fiscally-responsible?
A. Having a positive impact on the quality of education and being fiscally responsible are not mutually exclusive. We need to move away from the mindset that money equals quality. The fact is that many of the worst performing schools in Pennsylvania receive much more state aid than our good schools. That system only rewards failure. We have good schools in Abington and Upper Dublin because we care about education, and we care about how our school-tax dollars are spent. I also believe that being fiscally responsible means ensuring that we receive our share of state aid for schools. As a State Representative, my mission will be to make sure that Abington and Upper Dublin are not short-changed in Harrisburg.
As for higher education, tuitions have skyrocketed over the past few decades. The increases in tuition have far outpaced the rate of inflation, and these tuition increases have occurred regardless of increases or decreases in state aid. For example, 20 years ago, tuition at Penn State-University Park was about $4500 per year. This year it is over $15000. It's time for our state legislators and administrations at our public universities work together to find ways to control costs. There is simply no justification for a 200+% increase in tuition in 20 years, and there is no justification in demanding that taxpayers pay more and more every year while our state-funded universities continue to raise the cost of education.
Q. What practical and realistic steps would you take to create conditions that will lead to the improvement of the economy in Abington and Upper Dublin?
A. I support legislation that is currently under consideration in the House that will reduce the corporate tax rate from the current rate of 9.9% to 6.9% over the course of several years. Pennsylvania has the second highest corporate tax rate in the country. That puts us at a competitive disadvantage. The legislation also closes the "Delaware loophole" whereby companies shift profits to Delaware in order to avoid paying taxes in PA. I believe we should have a business-friendly climate in Pennsylvania, but if a company benefits from our resources and infrastructure, it should pay taxes here. By attracting new business and reducing the tax burden for existing companies in Pennsylvania we can create jobs and improve economic conditions across the Commonwealth.
I also believe that we need to address the current structural deficiencies that we have with many of our state roads and bridges. Commerce isn't possible if we can't move goods and services efficiently throughout Pennsylvania. We need to come up with a plan to address these issues as soon as possible.
Q. Use of radar is only permitted by State Police in Pennsylvania. This is the only state with such a restriction. If you are in-favor of changing this, how would you go about developing consensus to do so without the support of the State Police?
A. For me, this is the most difficult of the three questions to answer because I understand the rationale behind the arguments both for and against local police using radar. The rationale for allowing radar is that Pennsylvania is the only state that does not allow it, which is telling. The number one complaint that most police stations in local townships across the state deal with is traffic congestion and speeding. By allowing local police to use radar it will provide them with the necessary tools to crack down on reckless drivers while making our streets safer for our local communities.
The rationale against allowing radar is the concern that local municipalities will use radar solely as a revenue generating measure thereby creating another tax for our local citizens. Further, local police are able to crack down on speeders by using stop watches and VASCAR.
I think the first step to finding a solution to this issue is determining whether or not public safety would be improved if local police departments have radar. The last thing I think our citizens need is to be another source of revenue for our municipalities. Pennsylvania residents already pay enough in taxes. I wholeheartedly respect our police and want to provide them with the necessary resources to effectively do their jobs; however, I think we have to understand that this issue has the potential to affect our community in a number of ways. As for State police opposition, I would respect and listen to every opinion and finding that is offered but if at the end of the day local radar is in the best interest of the local communities it is a decision that must be made by the legislature.
Republican Candidate for District 153
General Election Day is Tuesday, April 24
0 comments by Members are their personal opinions (see RMCA policies)
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