ACTION ITEM - October 2, 2006
02 October 2006
This Action Item deserves your immediate attention, so if you have the opportunity please try to act on it as quickly as possible.
Please see the press release below that was issued today by Representative Sam Rohrer’s office. In it he reports that he intends to re-introduce the Plan For Pennsylvania’s Future, HB2929, this week.
It's important that we all let our Representatives know immediately by e-mail or phone call that we support HB2929 and we will accept nothing less from them; that only HB2929 promises real property tax reform. Please inform your friends, neighbors, and relatives about this important legislation and have them contact their Representatives to let them know that they want this bill passed and will be using their Representative’s support of this bill as a “litmus test” for the November election.
With obstructionists like House Speaker John Perzel, Majority Leader Sam Smith, and Minority Leader Bill DeWeese still in power the bill may or may not be passed this time out. But at the very least this will set the stage for January when the House will have new faces and, hopefully, new leadership, and a new introduction of this legislation.
Your urgent action on this item will be greatly appreciated and will definitely help us to achieve our goal.
You can find your Representative and contact information here or by copying and pasting this URL into your browser: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/find.cfm
Thank you for your continuing support.
Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition
Rep. Samuel Rohrer
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Ty McCauslin
House Republican Public Relations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2006
More Doubt Shadows Governor’s Promises for
Property Tax Relief
as Gambling Revenue Projections Decrease
Rohrer says Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future
remains the only viable alternative
HARRISBURG – Last Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Gambling Control Board released slot-revenue projections that were significantly lower than previous projections. However, unbelievably, according to Gambling Control Board officials, “these lowered revenue projections would in no way endanger property-tax relief.”
Representative Sam Rohrer (R- Berks) finds this claim problematic on several levels, stating that:
“The Gaming Control Board and the Revenue Department cannot seem to come to the same conclusions regarding just how much revenue slots will bring to Pennsylvania. How many more ‘guess-timates’ and revisions can people stomach? This should make every Pennsylvanian question whether the revenue will actually materialize by 2009. Will the projected decrease in my property taxes ever become a reality now that Act 1 has become law? In short, can we trust anything we have been told about the Governor’s property tax reform promises? As I have said from the beginning, the governor’s property tax plan, built on the back of elusive gambling revenues is a cruel hoax.”
Rohrer maintains that gambling cannot adequately address the school property tax crisis, and it will provide an insignificant property tax reduction at best. He, along with many members in the state House, recognize that the school property tax crisis can only be addressed through the comprehensive reform of public education funding. Of course, the best and most straightforward method to accomplish this comprehensive reform is through the total elimination of school property taxes, with funding shifted to the state sales tax at a lower rate and a broadened base.
Known as the Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future (House Bill 2929), Rohrer’s proposal would lower the state sales tax rate to five percent and broaden it to include a wider range of goods and services. Key exemptions for items such as fresh meats and fresh produce, WIC items, doctor visits and hospital stays, key business to business services as well as many other good and services still remain in place.
An interactive tax calculator on how much individual Pennsylvanians would save under the Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future as well as a chart detailing the consistency of sales tax revenue is available at SamRohrer.com.
“The sales tax has been and remains the most consistent revenue stream we have,” said Rohrer. “By using the sales tax instead of the property tax, all citizens can contribute their share of education costs a little bit at a time rather than one, budget-breaking, lump sum due all at once. The sales tax takes a little from everyone rather than a lot from some.
“Had we passed this legislative proposal in June, homeowners would already have absolute certainty that their property taxes would be gone in two years and a predictable, future revenue stream for funding public education would have been established. After all, this is what it all comes down to for most people: eliminate my school property taxes and make sure that our schools are funded fairly and adequately. The Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future is the only viable option ever presented that would without question accomplish both of these economic and educational objectives once and for all,” he added.
According to Rohrer, The Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future (House Bill 2929) is scheduled for reintroduction as a stand-alone bill this week. Unlike the governor’s elusive gambling-dependent Act 1, the Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future was subjected to a rigorous independent economic study which confirmed that the proposal was economically sound, produced the needed revenue and in addition, would create 139,000 good-paying jobs.
“The opportunity still remains for this Legislature to enact a permanent and economic growth- generating fix to this longstanding problem,” said Rohrer, “and, most importantly, to fully restore to Pennsylvania taxpayers the rights guaranteed to them by both our state and federal constitutions—100 percent, secure ownership of their homes, farms and businesses! Best of all, there is still plenty of time for this historic school property tax elimination proposal to be considered by the House prior to the fall elections.
“Since the people have made themselves very clear regarding Act 1 and its failure in alleviating the property burden for the majority of Pennsylvania homeowners, it is time for this Legislature to meet their demands and provide property tax elimination for ALL property owners in this state. This legislation can return the security of genuine homeownership to the millions of Pennsylvanians who have suffered for decades under oppressive property taxes and the daily fear of being forced from their homes,” he added.
For the latest updates on the Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future visit SamRohrer.com.