Friday, May 9, 2008

Representative Kate Harper (R-61) Looks out for Mom's, Kids

May 7, 2008

Harper Says New Child Support Fee is a Tax on Children, Single Working Parents

HARRISBURG – Just weeks after nearly every member of the state House voted to have the state pay a new $25 fee for parents collecting child support, 117 lawmakers changed their minds and today voted to instead assess the fee against the parents.

“When this law takes effect, parents collecting as little as $167 in child support per month will have to give $25 back to the government each year for the privilege of collecting the money owed to them from the other parent,” Harper said. “Taxing children and single moms is, I believe, absolutely the wrong thing to do. Every dollar of child support money should go toward food, clothes and shelter for the child, not government bureaucracy. We can afford it. They can’t.”

The federal government gives Pennsylvania $175 million per year for child support enforcement, but the Federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 requires states to repay the federal government $25 per family not on public assistance and collecting at least $500 annually in child support through the state Department of Public Welfare. States can pay the $25 themselves, or they have the option of assessing it on the parent paying child support or on the parent receiving child support.

The Rendell Administration advocated for legislation that assesses the fee against the parents collecting child support. His administration actively opposed Harper’s ongoing efforts to have the state pay the fee instead, and nearly all Democratic members of the House voted to enact the tax.

“We recently learned the Commonwealth has a revenue surplus of more than $435 million,” Harper said. “How many families in Pennsylvania – especially single-parent families – have a surplus? In a state budget of more than $28 billion, we can surely find the $2 million needed to pay this fee and allow these struggling families to keep their $25.”

Harper, a lawyer who has practiced family law for more than 20 years in Montgomery County, successfully amended House Bill 2252 on March 31 to require the state to absorb the $25 cost on behalf of all families. Her attempts to pass the same amendment to Senate Bill 1278 on Wednesday failed by a vote of 77-119, after hours of debate.

Under the bill, as currently drafted, the state will cover the $25 fee only for parents collecting less than $2,000 annually in child support. However, parents who receive $2,000 or more annually in child support for their children — as little as $167 a month — would be responsible for paying the fee themselves.


rpmmotors said...

Hi my name is Robert, I am a non custodial parrent. I can not afford many extras even though I work 50 hrs. a week. Iam married me and my wife are raising 3 children. I paid support to my daughters mother willingly before her mother thought I was not paying enough and talked her into going to court for more money inwhich she actually got less.why should I pay for court costs when I was paying support just fine before we went to court, it is documented. The mother chose to get the court involved for no reason so she should be the one to pay the court cost. I agree some men out there should be paying their lives away because they have no involvement with their kids. I do have a lot to do with my kid. I went to court so my ex would have to stop making excuses for me not to see my child. A scorned woman is not a very nice one. I don't start trouble I stay shut and pay my support, but I will fight this fee. I already pay extra fees everytime support is taken out of my check. I pay the entire cost of gas to pick up and drop off my daughter. I buy my child new clothes because her mother wont send nice clothes to my house. shes married and they both work ful time jobs. She lives in a house she got free and clear from her parrents. Why do I have to struggle and my children that live with me have to loseout. I really hope one of you politioners can review the whole system and make it more fair for the good fathers. Someone has to recognize that not all mothers are looking out for their childs best interests, and not all fathers are bad guys.fathers have voting rights too.

rpmmotors78 said...

I was wondering who should I sue for enequality. Women and men both make a baby, but if a woman feels it was a mistake she can either; have an abortion or give up her parental rights. Why is it men can not give their rights up? Why can women choose and men can't?If a woman chooses an abortion a man can not stop her. Why can't a man say it was a mistake.Women get to have a choice men don't.A man should be able to allow another man to take his parental rights even if the mother says NO.Women wanted equal rights for a long time, they got them, now men need equal rights. When will we get them?

Bill Shaw said...


Not unlike you, I worked 2-3 jobs, ate every other day at one point, and paid increasing amounts of child support to a woman who diodn't want my son, but wouldn't give me custody (her way of hanging on, I guess), either.

She made my life hell for 15 years, until a judge saw what she was doing (abusing him medically) and awarded me custody.

I feel for you, I really do. i watched her go to Disney World twice every year while I spent 14 of those 15 years not able to afford to take my new family (I have remarried and have 2 children, in addition to my first) on vacations at all. I know exactly what you are going through.

I paid my support, I paid over $80,000 in legal fees, I was at her whim when she decided not to let him come to court ordered visitation (the Philly cops would not enforce the court order)...I went through 15 years of hell.

That being said, I would still have to say that for the sake of those kids who's mom gets little or sporadic child support, the scoundrel fathers should have to pay the fee, not the custodial parent.

I can't see the kids suffering any of the time for the sake of a few of us that get the shaft on a regular basis (as I did for 15 years).

If you want to discuss this further, pleas email me at the link on the top right of the page. I can put you in touch with the author of this bill, Rep. Kate Harper, and maybe set up a meeting to further discuss this issue.

Again, I really can relate to your situation. Let's discuss this further, at your convenience, with Kate.

G-d Bless you,


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