ACTION ITEM - August 26, 2006
26 August 2006
On Thursday, August 24, PA Representative Sam Rohrer announced in a press release a revised, single-bill Plan For Pennsylvania’s Future. This legislation, which is approved by the PTCC and the statewide Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayers Associations (PCTA), will eliminate all school property and nuisance taxes, will remove the taxing ability of local school boards, and will distribute educational funding more equitably to all Pennsylvania school districts. More information about this bill is available on the PTCC website under “The Legislative Solution” tab. For your information, I’ve copied Representative Rohrer’s press release at the bottom of this letter.
Representative Rohrer has also sent a memorandum to all members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives asking the members to co-sponsor this legislation. If the legislation can gain enough co-sponsors, Speaker Perzel will be forced to bring the bill to the floor for debate and a vote or risk looking like an obstructionist.
Since this is a unique political year in Pennsylvania with a lot of voter anger and many politicians who are afraid of losing their jobs, it will probably be effective to bring pressure to bear on the legislators right now, before the election.
The PCTA will be sending a personalized letter to every member of the House asking them whether or not they will co-sponsor this bill, and letting them know that their responses will be compiled in a legislative "report card" to be published and sent to the voters and to the PCTA’s membership prior to the election.
This is where your help is urgently needed. The PTCC and the PCTA are asking all of their groups’ members to write to their Representatives to let them know that they support passage of this bill and demand that they co-sponsor this legislation. You can also let your Representative know that your vote in November will be decided by his or her willingness to co-sponsor the Plan For Pennsylvania’s Future.
In a grassroots movement such as this, EVERY letter is important. Please take the time to write, phone, or e-mail your Representative in support of this effort. The mail, phone number, and e-mail address of your Representative can be found on the PTCC website under the “Find Your Legislators” tab. You will need to know your Zip Code+4 to accurately determine your Representative.
If you are uncomfortable with writing your own letter, I’ve printed a sample letter below. Revise it as you wish, or copy and paste it to send it as written. Be sure to include your address and home telephone number in the letter or the legislators will ignore you.
Remember, this is a non-partisan effort – legislators of all political parties are responsible for the current Act 1 fraud, and these same legislators are going to be responsible for doing the right thing for Pennsylvania taxpayers. We need the support of Pennsylvanians from all political parties.
PLEASE forward this message to as many of your friends and family as possible. This effort will have a better chance of success if we can show massive support.
Thank you very much for your help.
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Dear Representative _____________,
I am a taxpayer and voter who is very upset and angry over the passage of the useless SS Act 1 property tax “relief” bill and am a fervent supporter of total school property tax elimination through the Plan For Pennsylvania’s Future.
You recently received a memorandum from Representative Sam Rohrer and other legislative colleagues advising you of the revised Plan For Pennsylvania’s Future and requesting that you co-sponsor this legislation.
I am, as one of your constituents, strongly urging you to commit to co-sponsoring this legislation before the re-convening of the General Assembly in late September. Further, I request that you help to bring this bill to the House floor for debate prior to the November election.
Your response to this request will be a major determining factor in how my family, my friends, and I will vote in November.
Very truly yours,
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Rohrer Press Release – 24 August 2006
Rep. Samuel Rohrer
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Ty McCauslin
House Republican Public Relations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2006
Property Tax Elimination Pushes Ahead
Updated Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future to be introduced
HARRISBURG – Commonwealth Caucus Chairman Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-Berks), along with other House members, plans to soon introduce an updated Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future. Building on the original Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future, this updated version incorporates the most significant recommendations made during House debate and received from the economic and business communities.
According to Rohrer, the updated Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future is the single best solution to the property tax dilemma as it is the only proposal ever to be considered by the Legislature that is specifically designed to comprehensively fix Pennsylvania public education. This plan would not only eliminate all school property taxes, restore home ownership and invigorate the state’s economy but would also stabilize a crumbling school finance system by establishing equity in funding and curbing school spending.
“We have listened to the many suggestions given during debate on this legislation and incorporated the best recommendations while still maintaining the fiscal integrity of the plan,” said Rohrer. “We have listened to the business community, to fellow House members, advocacy groups and most importantly, the taxpayers to create a single piece of legislation that meets and exceeds all the concerns that have been raised.”
The incorporation of these recommendations into a single bill means that, for the first time, this legislation can be considered in its entirety, not divided according to individual sections of the tax code. By having this legislation as a single bill, legislators will be able to vote for both elimination of the school property tax and for the stabilizing of education finance in a single vote.
This legislation would simultaneously eliminate all school property taxes while lowering and broadening the sales tax rate to 5 percent. In addition to the original key sales tax exemptions such as doctor visits and prescription medicine, this bill also provides sales tax exemptions for such things as food (fresh meats and produce), residential utilities and essential business-to-business services such as accounting, engineering, research, computer and legal services.
According to Rohrer, as these changes have already been discussed during House debate and do not alter the structure of the legislation, it is not necessary for this bill to go through the committee process.
“This means that the opportunity still remains for this Legislature to provide substantial tax relief for all Pennsylvanians this session. There is plenty of time for the property tax legislation to be considered by the House prior to the fall elections. And 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,” said Rohrer. “With just a single vote, we can return the joy of genuine homeownership to the millions of Pennsylvanians who have suffered for decades under oppressive property taxes.”