News for Constituents

Get a Jump on Tax Season Preparation

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is encouraging you to prepare now to file your 2017 personal income tax returns. 

Familiarize yourself with E-filing options which reduce paperwork, decrease errors, instantly confirm the filing, facilitate faster refunding, and expedite direct depositing. 

Electronic Filing Options in 2018 for the 2017 tax year will include Padirectfile, E-filing for Free, and E-filing for a Fee through paid tax preparers and commercial tax preparation software providers.  If you received more than $33 in total gross taxable income during 2017, your PA personal income tax return must be filed no later than midnight Tuesday, April 17, 2018. 

 

2018 Farm Show Kicks Off First Friday in January

The 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show debuts at noon on Friday, January 5, 2018 with the PA Preferred Reception showcasing the state’s finest foods and beverages at the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center.  Beginning on Saturday, January 6, and each morning through January 13, the doors open at 8 a.m.

Mornings, afternoons, and evenings, the Farm Show will feature daily animal competitions, cow milking contests, cooking demonstrations, and numerous exhibitions, including wood carving, honey extraction, maple syrup production, square dancing, rabbit hopping demonstrations, bluebird nest box building, and much more.  Review the full schedule, look for your favorites, and make a plan to attend Pennsylvania’s premier annual agriculture show. 

General Admission Tickets and Sponsorship opportunities are available for the PA Preferred Reception.  Admission to the Farm Show is free and parking is $15.  Admission prices to the First Frontier Circuit Finals Rodeo range from $5 to $35 depending on the day of the week and available seating. 

PennDOT Releases Latest Winter Service Guide

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is releasing the latest Winter Service Guide to help you prepare for cold weather driving conditions. 

Key elements of the Guide are broken into categories to assist you with your preparations: 

  • Emergency Travel Kit (p.2)
  • Winter Driving Tips (p.3)
  • Winter Tools and Terms (p.4)
  • PennDOT Winter Storm Team (p.5-7)

Turn to pages 8-29 for the PennDOT District Tools offering details on the number of snow lane miles, average snowfall, number of municipal agreements, amounts of salt and brine required, as well as the budgeted and actual expenditures to properly maintain snow and ice-covered roadways in your PennDOT Maintenance District.  Along with the contact information listed for each of the Commonwealth’s 12 Highway Maintenance Districts are the number of permanent and temporary operators and mechanics required in each district. 

January Ranks Second in Home Candle Fires

January ranks second in the number of home candle fires prompting reminders from the Pennsylvania Office of State Fire Commissioner

Nearly 40 percent of home candle fires historically begin in the bedroom.  However, only 13 percent of candle users most often burn candles in the bedroom. 

Candle burning warnings include maintaining a one-foot circle of safety to include bedding, blinds, curtains, and decorations.  It is essential that candles are extinguished upon exiting a room and when going to bed.  Sleep was a factor in 11 percent of the fires and 21 percent of the candle fire deaths. 

The National Fire Protection Association emphasizes the dangers of candles in some emergency situations.  Strong emphasis is placed on the use of flashlights versus candles.  Never use a candle around flammable liquids, especially when refueling kerosene or gas home heating equipment. 

LIHEAP Applications are Being Accepted

Low income families struggling with heating bills may apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

Eligible Pennsylvanians may choose one of three methods to apply for a 2017-18 cash grant sent directly to the utility company or a crisis grant for households in immediate danger of being without heat. 

Applications may be submitted online through COMPASS or at your local county assistance office through April 6, 2018. 

 

PA Filled with Wintertime Activities for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Pennsylvania is proud of its abundance of outdoor wintertime activities, according to the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Find opportunities for cross-country skiing among 560 miles of trails in 15 state forests.  When snow-covered, a potential exists for some 3,671 miles of state forest trails to open across the state.  Downhill skiing opportunities are enhanced by extensive snowmaking, exciting vertical drops and a little extra fun in the form of snow tubing. 

Check conditions through the State Parks Winter Report and the State Forest District Index before heading outdoors.