Prepare Now for a Cozy – and Affordable – Winter!
10/27/2017
Updating the 85th District
The latest news from the State Capitol
                          
Weatherization Services Available to Eligible Residents

Residents can save money and stay warm this winter with weatherization services by SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG).

This service is available to income-qualifying homeowners and renters in Columbia, Juniata, Mifflin, Montour, Perry, Snyder and Union counties. Weatherization services include energy education, diagnostics and solutions, emergency furnace repair or replacement, and cold weather crisis intervention.

To get the whole picture, SEDA-COG staff will review home heating bills, energy leaks and the resident’s heat distribution system. Specifically, services can include:
  • Insulation, sealing air leaks.
  • Heat system repairs and insulation, water pipe insulation.
  • Refrigerator/freezer and hot water heater replacements.
  • Energy-efficient lighting, faucet aerators, smart strips.
  • Thermostats, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, ventilation fans.
  • Indoor air quality tests, corrective action.
Income qualifications range from $23,540 for a single person to $81,780 for a family of eight. Add $8,320 for each additional family member. Residents also must live in the home year-round to qualify.

Since the inception of SEDA-COG’s weatherization program in 1976, over 37,000 homes have been weatherized. SEDA-COG makes homes more affordable, comfortable and energy efficient with staff and technology expertise. For more information, call SEDA-COG at 1-800-332-6701 and ask for the weatherization program. Additional information is also available online here.
                
         
Heating Assistance Program to Open Nov. 1

Residents who struggle with their home heating bills can apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning Wednesday, Nov. 1.

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.

The income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are set at 150 percent of the federal poverty income level. For example, the income limit for an individual is $18,090; for a couple, the limit is $24,360; and for a family of four, it is $36,900.

Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting the appropriate County Assistance Office:
  • Snyder County Assistance Office: 570-372-1721.
  • Union County Assistance Office: 570-522-5274.

                                                                     

         
Check Out These Upcoming Events!

McClure Bacon Fest: Saturday, Oct. 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at McClure Station Park, 1 W. Walker St. Click here for additional information.

Grant Writing Seminar to Help Nonprofit, Local Government or Community Organizations: Learn about assessing grant options and opportunities, building relationships with foundations and funders, maximizing grant search efforts, identifying the components of an effective proposal, understanding how proposals are reviewed, and measuring and showing results. The event is sponsored by Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau and organized by Penn State Cooperative Extension, and Reps. Fred Keller, Garth Everett and Lynda Schlegel Culver. Choose to attend one of the following events:
  • Nov. 16, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, 90 Lawton Lane, Milton.
  • Friday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Middlecreek Area Community Center, 67 Elm St., Beaver Springs.
There is no cost to attend, and lunch will be provided to all attendees. The deadline to register is Nov. 10. Click here to sign up.   For additional information, call 570-966-0052 or 570-837-0052.
                  
         
Property Tax Referendum on Nov. 7 Ballot

Voters will have an opportunity to vote on a state constitutional amendment that could impact property tax reform efforts. The question will appear on the Nov. 7 General Election ballot.

Currently, the state Constitution permits local governments – counties, municipalities and school districts – to exclude up to 50 percent of the median assessed home value from a homeowner’s tax bill. However, the referendum on the ballot will allow voters to decide if the maximum homestead exclusion could be increased to 100 percent of primary residences. For example, under the current homestead exclusion, if the median assessed home value in your school district is $100,000, up to $50,000 can be excluded from your tax bill if your school district elected the full 50 percent exclusion rate. If the value of your home is assessed at $150,000, your local property tax rate would only be applied to $100,000 of that value.

If the resolution amending the Constitution is approved, the homestead exclusion cap could be removed. However, the General Assembly would still have to pass a law to implement the change, and local governments would still be responsible for establishing exclusion amounts for homesteads within each district.

Read the public notice from the Pennsylvania Department of State here.
                  
         
Another Extension Granted to Comply with REAL ID

Late last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended the compliance deadline for when Pennsylvania residents must use a REAL ID or other acceptable forms of enhanced identification.

Under this extension, Pennsylvania residents can use their existing driver licenses through Oct. 10, 2018. This will apply to both federal facilities and domestic airline travel.

PennDOT has begun work on the implementation of REAL ID and estimates that REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification cards will be available, as an option for residents, in March 2019. It is expected that Pennsylvania will continue to apply for extensions until the state has met complete compliance.

DHS has established Oct. 1, 2020, as the final REAL ID compliance deadline for all states.

Information on Pennsylvania’s REAL ID, including frequently asked questions, is available at www.dmv.pa.gov.
                  
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