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School Taxes Excessive


Dear Editor:

Every year thousands of Pennsylvanians lose their homes due to ever skyrocketing school property taxes. Over the years, tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians have been evicted from their homes when school boards increased property taxes above their ability to pay them. I have to ask, what kind of government entity levies a tax that people no longer can afford to pay and then throws them out on the street when they don’t pay it? I have to ask why property owners, for the most part, are the only ones required to fund education in Pennsylvania? There is no reason the government should be throwing people out of their homes onto the streets because the government has increased a tax beyond the ability of taxpayers to pay. The insanity has to stop.

Sometime in January, Pennsylvania State Rep. Jim Cox will be introducing HB 1776 The Property Tax Independence Act in the House, and shortly after that State Sen. David Argall will be introducing a senate version of The Property Tax Independence Act in the senate. You can read more about these legislative acts at http://ptcc.us/ (House version) and http://senatorargall.com/press/2011/1211/121411.htm Senator Argall’s op-ed on the subject.

Most homeowners in Pennsylvania now know that revenue from gambling has done little to reduce their school property tax bills, and if anything, school property tax increases have greatly exceeded the reduction from slot machine revenues from several years ago. Reductions in school property taxes from slot machine revenue have actually gone down from the initial reduction, while school property taxes have continued to increase each year since then. Where's the savings for homeowners from slot machine revenue?

Support for both versions of The Property Tax Independence Act have bipartisan support in the Pennsylvania House and Senate, but we need everyone possible contacting legislators here in Bradford County (and all across Pennsylvania) to not only support but cosponsor this legislation in the House and Senate. There are many people, the teachers unions and school boards that don’t want their unlimited funding stream interrupted and it matters not to them that anyone would lose their home because they can’t pay their school property taxes.

I’m asking everyone to contact our local state representatives and request they support and cosponsor this legislation in both houses.

Tina Pickett, 570-265-3124, tpickett@pahousegop.com  

Matt Baker, 570-297-3045, mbaker@pahousegop.com

Gene Yaw, 570-265-7448, gyaw@pasen.gov.

This is the first time in many years we’ve had this much support from both legislative houses to finally get rid of school property taxes, put school boards on real budgets and have equity in funding for schools all across Pennsylvania.

Victor Lawson



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