News & Brews June 15, 2022

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A $27 million refund for Lower Merion taxpayers

Filed under, “This is big news:” In 2016, the wealthy Lower Merion School District (LMSD) was sued by lawyer and LMSD taxpayer Arthur Wolk, who argued the district hid millions of dollars in surpluses while raising taxes on residents. Now, more than six years later, the district has agreed to repay taxpayers $27 million. The Inquirer reports that the agreement, which needs to be approved by a judge, “would give back $15 million to everyone who owned property in the district on Aug. 29, 2016 … and who paid school taxes that year. It would also require the district to pay $4 million a year in rebates on tax bills to taxpayers in 2023, 2024 and 2025. And it places restrictions on district budgets going forward — reducing the millage rate for the coming school year, and setting parameters lasting for at least several years that would force the district to return 50% of future unexpected budget surpluses to taxpayers.” Maybe other school districts will think twice before trying to raise taxes while hoarding taxpayer dollars.

In Philly, Biden ‘strains for a message on deteriorating economy’

Despite President Biden’s angry outburst yesterday, when he said, “I don’t want to hear any more of these lies about reckless spending. We’re changing people’s lives,” the fact is, people’s lives have been changed—but not for the better. POLITICO reports that during his speech yesterday at the AFL-CIO convention in Philly, Biden “struggle[d] to express confidence” as inflationary pressures continue to hit families where it hurts. Not surprisingly, Biden blamed former President Trump and Republicans for much of the economic pain. The Inquirer also has a story on the event.

Lincoln Project takes aim at Mastriano

The disgraced Lincoln Project, which has targeted Republicans (in the name of Republicanism) for the financial benefit of its founders, is launching a new ad against Doug Mastriano, calling the retired Army colonel a “traitor.” The ad is slated to begin airing in the Harrisburg / Lancaster / York area this week.

Op-Ed: ‘Excellent education isn’t for the select few’

David P. Hardy, co-founder and retired CEO of Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School, has an op-ed in the Philadelphia Citizen arguing that “students’ futures shouldn’t rely on chance.” And as the city uses a lottery system to determine who gets a shot at a better education, a better solution is Lifeline Scholarships, which “would give all public-school students at low-achieving schools access to state education funding to pay for tuition, curriculum, or other educational expenses.” Read more here.

Committee hearing on inflation highlights long-term solutions

Yesterday, the House Majority Policy Committee held the third in a series of hearings on the causes and impacts of inflation. The Center Square reports that short-term solutions were “few,” while longer-term solutions included developing Pennsylvania’s energy potential and reducing unnecessary regulations. The Delaware Valley Journal also covered the hearing.

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