Wednesday, August 27, 2008

***UPDATE: PA Charges 25 Per Year To Collect Child Support***

An update to my post "PA Charges 25 Per Year To Collect Child Support":

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reported today that State Rep Kate Harper (R-61) has introduced a bill to repeal this egregious surcharge on child support received by children.

A double HT to Representative Harper for making sure that the children of divorced/single parents are not victimized by the state and federal government.

We need to call our representatives to strongly support Harper's bill!

Bill Would Make State Pay Child Support Fee

Pennsylvanians who receive more than $2,000 per year pay $25 per child

Wednesday, August 27, 2008
By Tracie Mauriello, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HARRISBURG -- To Susan Aughinbaugh of Cumberland County, $25 can be the difference between a holiday dinner and a can of Spam.

That's why state Rep. Kate Harper, R-Montgomery, is seeking to repeal a $25 annual fee charged to 157,000 Pennsylvanians who receive child support totaling more than $2,000 a year and who have never received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

The fee, which is charged per child receiving support, is being deducted from child support checks starting this month.

The Federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2006 required states to start charging the fee or to remit the money from their general fund budgets. In Pennsylvania, the state picked up the tab for two years, but in May the Legislature voted to pass the fee on to child-support recipients who receive more than $2,000 a year. The state will continue to pay the fee for those who receive less.

The fees will generate almost $4 million.

"This is not something Pennsylvania decided to do. This is part of the Deficit Reduction Act passed by the feds," said Stacey Witalec, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. The state could have collected the fee from the noncustodial parent but didn't because it would be more difficult to collect, she said.

"Given the number of noncustodial parents that are in arrears, there is more of a likelihood we will be able to fulfill our obligation to the federal government by collecting the money from the custodial parent," Ms. Witalec said.

Of 496,000 child support cases being handled through the Department of Family Relations, 220,000 are in arrears by a total of $1.4 billion, she said. Even at that rate, Pennsylvania is No. 1 in the nation in child-support collections.

Ms. Harper, R-Montgomery, said the state should pick up the cost.

"Taking $25 away from the support awarded to a child to instead pay for government bureaucracy is not ... the right thing to do. We need to repeal this tax on parents and children immediately," she said.

Ms. Harper has introduced a repeal bill. Thirty-nine sponsors have signed on.

"I think we can rearrange some line items [in the state budget] and make it happen," she said.

No comments:

Obama Countdown