News for Constituents – February 1, 2019

Fun-filled Activities Crop Up All Year at the Farm Show Complex

The Farm Show is the prelude to a year of fun-filled events and activities at the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, PA. 

February begins with the nine-day Great American Outdoor Show, celebrating hunting, fishing, and outdoor traditions.  Motorama, the nation’s largest indoor motorsports event featuring one million square feet of action, rolls into the complex in mid-February.  The latest makes and models of recreational vehicles and everything you may need for your next RV vacation will be on display during the four-day Harrisburg RV and Camping Show

The February lineup concludes with two distinctly different events.  The Horse World Expo brings four days of equine education, equestrian competitions, entertainment, and shopping.  Attendees of the annual Home and Garden Design Show will be treated to the sights and sounds of local technical high school students and local interior designers creating a “She Shed.”  Exhibitors will display home improvements from air purification to water conditioning. 

State Income Tax Filing Assistance Now Available

Pennsylvanians may download forms to file 2018 personal income taxes in the traditional manner prior to the Monday, April 15, 2019 midnight deadline.  For electronic filers, Padirectfile is available for state-only personal income tax or PA Free File is a no-charge option to file federal and state taxes at the same time, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue

The Department offers the PA Personal Income Tax Guide.  The Guide provides a brief overview, filing requirements, and expands on a broad range of tax-related topics from debts to dividends.  Find Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the Customer Support page or confidentially submit a specific question. 

Refunds for electronically filed returns are estimated to arrive in approximately 4 weeks, while 8 to 10 weeks are required to process paper forms.  While waiting on a refund, check the status online or call 717-787-8201 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.  An automated toll-free information line is available at 1-888-PATAXES. 

Financial Options Open to Those With Disabilities

Individuals with qualifying disabilities and their families may save for a wide range of disability-related expenses through state-offered savings and investment options authorized under the Pennsylvania Achieving a Better Life Experience program (PA ABLE), according to the PA Treasurer’s Office.

Individuals with a disability and their families are encouraged to save funds to support their loved one’s health, independence, and quality of life without affecting eligibility for state or federal means-tested benefits

Six of seven investment opportunities include conservative to aggressive Asset-Allocation Options.  The seventh option is a FDIC-insured interest-bearing checking account with a debit card.  See Frequently Asked Questions for answers regarding eligibility and qualified expenses.

Warm Up With Award-Winning Farm Show Recipes

On a cold February day warm up to some of the Farm Show’s 2019 winning recipes from Pennsylvania’s outstanding amateur cooks.

Pick your favorites from each of the top five winning recipes: 

Click on the 2019 photo album for hundreds of Farm Show photos from alpacas to youth tractor pulls.

Ice and Snow – Remove It Before You Go

Removing snow and ice from the hood and roof of your vehicle is more than a good idea – it is the law, according to the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP).

Following injuries and deaths as a result of snow and ice striking vehicles and individuals, Pennsylvania passed a law requiring drivers to remove ice and snow before driving.  When snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of the vehicle from which the snow or ice is dislodged or falls is subject to a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $1,000 for each offense.

The PSP remind drivers that lights must be turned on any time the vehicle’s windshield wipers are in continuous or intermittent use due to rain, snow, sleet, or mist.

Wintertime Home Heating Fires

Between 2011 and 2015, portable and stationary space heaters accounted for 43 percent of home heating fires annually and 85 percent of home heating fire deaths across the country, according to the National Fire Protection Association. 

The Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner (PA OSFC) warns that wood stoves and fireplaces are responsible for 36 percent of home heating fires.

Keep your family safe this winter with home fire safety tips from the PA OSFC.