HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The state of Pennsylvania adopts a balanced budget each year and spends more each year than it writes on paper. How much more? Where is the extra money going? Now the state treasurer helps you see exactly where your taxes are going.
His name is Ledger 5. Treasurer Stacy Garrity has called him for a long time. âThere is a perception out there that people are hiding the money that is spent and that way we bring it to light,â Garrity said.
Light in the form of this website. The state rarely lives within its budget and when it exceeds it goes to Ledger 5 now for all to see. âIt’s very user-friendly. When we set it up I made sure that someone in Bradford County, where I’m from, could easily figure it out, âsaid Garrity.
But most don’t understand that when these budget deals are signed and sealed, they don’t tell the whole story. Over the past nine years, Garrity says, the state has spent $ 2.5 billion more than expected. âLast year it was $ 850 million, so it’s almost $ 1 billion,â Garrity said.
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Almost all of the overruns come from a single department, which House of Credit Speaker Stan Saylor complained about earlier this year. âWe cannot have a Department of Health and Social Services that comes here every year and exceeds its budget by a billion dollars. At this rate, you are forcing the next governor and almost every legislature to raise taxes, âSaylor said.
Garrity says his office will now be looking closely at additional spending, but will still cut checks. âI don’t think we want to stop the payments to our nursing homes or our correctional officers or our state police,â Garrity said.
Garrity may have to pay it, but Ledger 5 lets you see it. There are no overruns yet, they usually don’t start until January. The website will rely on information from the governor’s budget office who has promised to cooperate with the treasurer.