Centre County government is expecting to see a cut in state funding of close to 10 percent under the new state budget, but is still waiting for final numbers before the exact impact can be determined.
The budget Gov. Tom Corbett signed over the weekend kept funding for some programs — including Penn State and agricultural research — flat, but did include some cuts. Among them is a reduction in money in the 2012- 13 fiscal year for mental health and intellectual disabilities service and drug and alcohol programs.
County Administrator Tim Boyde said Centre County’s current allocation is $5.2 million. That will probably see a cut of $472,000.
Boyde cautioned that the numbers are tentative and could change, and that the county won’t know exactly how much programs are being reduced until it receives its allocation letter from the state.
He said the biggest hit appears to be in the mental health services funding.
Still, he said, “these numbers are far better than originally projected.”
Under an initial proposal from Corbett, the county would likely have seen program funding reduced by about $1 million.
“All in all, it’s a cut,” Boyde said. “Do we like it? No. Can we deal with it? Absolutely.”
He said the department heads will be creative when it comes to managing the decrease.
“They’ll do their level best to make sure there’s not a substantial reduction in services,” he said.
Corbett had also called for cutting Penn State funding by 30 percent. Instead, that support remained flat at $214 million. Agricultural research and extension will also receive steady support — $44.7 million.
The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau praised the decision to maintain spending on agricultural programs, including Cooperative Extension and agricultural research at Penn State.
“After major cuts to last year’s budget, it was crucial that programs, which provide advances in technology and technical assistance for farmers, not suffer further budget cuts this year,” said bureau President Carl Shaffer, who is also a member of Penn State’s board of trustees.
The bureau also noted that Pennsylvania county fairs will get $2 million in support — more than twice what they got last year.
And, the General Assembly and Corbett approved legislation that exempts the passing of working family farms from one generation to the next from the state inheritance tax. Adult children who inherit a family farm won’t have to pay a 4.5 percent inheritance tax, and siblings of the deceased won’t have to pay a 12 percent tax, according to the bureau.
Anne Danahy can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @AnneDanahy