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Homeowners speak out about property taxes!
20 April 2008
In late March, PTCC subscribers and others were asked to send us their real-life stories telling how relentlessly increasing school property taxes are affecting their quality of life. The response to this request was overwhelming; the letters starkly demonstrate the frustration, fear, hopelessness, and anger that are widespread throughout Pennsylvania over the lawmakers’ inaction in addressing the issue. These stories also demonstrate that halfway measures like HB 1600 will not get the job done - ONLY elimination will do.
The Harrisburg politicians who refuse to support elimination MUST be shown that their inaction is jeopardizing the welfare and the lives of many thousands of Pennsylvanians; they MUST understand that what they are doing (or not doing) is destroying the future for good, honest people who only want to live their lives without the fear of financial ruin.
If the lawmakers truly care about the homeowners of this state, they will consider carefully these letters that clearly show them the REAL faces of the property tax issue and how their political games are affecting the lives of REAL people!
You can read these stories in the compilation posted on the PTCC website here; they will be submitted to the Harrisburg politicians during the next few weeks.
To all of you who contributed to this compilation, please accept our heartfelt thanks for your efforts. If you have a story that you'd like to share, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add it to the compilation.
One more note…
Many Harrisburg politicians continue to promote their despicable deception that they have brought homeowners property tax “relief” through gambling revenues.
As you are probably aware, state Budget Secretary Michael J. Masch announced earlier this week that gambling revenues will provide an average $169 property tax rebate in 2008. Mr. Masch also said that this would be a 10% reduction for homeowners and that this event marks the beginning of “historic” property tax relief in Pennsylvania.
On Thursday (4/17/08) the House Democratic Caucus, in an e-mail update, said this:
Homeowners to take home $600 million jackpot.
The House Democrats’ years of effort to provide all Pennsylvania homeowners substantial and sustainable property tax relief will begin paying off this summer. Pennsylvania’s budget secretary this week certified that the state’s slot machine facilities have now produced enough revenue to begin reducing property taxes – more than $600 million for homeowners statewide.
House Democrats led the charge and supplied the majority of votes to launch property tax relief for homeowners through slot machine gaming.
$169? 10%? Substantial and sustainable? Historic? GIVE ME A BREAK!
The statements above from Mr. Masch and the HDC simply emphasize what we already know – that the spineless politicians who do not support school property tax elimination have no respect for the taxpayers, think that we are stupid and ill-informed, and believe they can make us complacent by continually feeding us this propaganda.
Remember that $169 is an average. That means many of you will receive far less than this amount because of the distribution formula. The residents of many districts will receive as little as $80-$90, there are some that will receive about $50, and there is even one school district where the residents receive nothing. And I’ll bet that for most of you that rebate will come nowhere near 10% of your school property tax bill. Yep, that’s historic!
Remember, too, that a big chunk of the ballyhooed $600 million in “relief” comes from one-time casino licensing fees that will not be repeated in future years and that slots revenues have shrunken in recent months because of the failing economy. So much for “substantial and sustainable”!
Finally, if you’re expecting a rebate check, forget it. Your “relief” will come as a deduction on your July school property tax bill, just in time to be eaten away by increased property taxes.
All of this brings us to one conclusion: We must vote out of office all lawmakers of both parties who put the special interests and their own personal welfare ahead of those of their constituents by refusing to support school property tax elimination. The primary election is Tuesday; before deciding who to support, please see how your Representative voted when HB 1275 was debated in January 2008. The link to their voting record is here.
You are also encouraged to please voice your opinion about the taxpayers’ stories and the property tax “relief” announcement on the PTCC blog at here.
The PTCC and PCTA thank you for your continuing support.