08 May 2007
I’ve been delaying this update for a few weeks in the hope that there would be some news from Harrisburg about property tax elimination legislation, but that has not yet happened. Therefore, this letter will deal with our most immediate issue: The Act 1 tax shift referendum on the May 15 primary election ballot.
Lawmakers who have spoken with me over the past few weeks have been unanimous in their opinion of the referendum – that it MUST be overwhelmingly defeated across the state if we are to have a reasonable chance at property tax elimination. Otherwise, the Governor and pro-Act 1 legislators will use the results to justify their positions and tell us that the voters have spoken, that Act 1 is acceptable property tax reform, and that no further action is necessary.
Legislative polls have shown that property tax reform is the number one hot-button issue for Pennsylvania voters. The lawmakers are well aware of this overwhelming sentiment and know that this issue will be the one that they will have to answer for in the 2008 elections, yet many continue to defend their approval of Act 1.
The election is now less than a week away and we need to get the word to every voter – Republican, Democrat, and Independent – to vote “NO” on the tax shift question. We must send a forceful, unambiguous message to Harrisburg that this tax shift is NOT property tax reform and that the legislature must get to work immediately on property tax elimination. We must let them know that their continued foot-dragging on this issue will jeopardize their jobs in 2008.
PLEASE be sure to vote on May 15! PLEASE vote “NO” on the earned income tax question, and PLEASE send this message to as many folks as possible so we can defeat this awful law and increase our chances for true property tax reform.
With all of that said, I’ll pass along a few news items about the issue. Normally I would give you links to news stories about our position, but there has been such a huge number of negative Act 1 news pieces over the past few weeks that the list would be far more than you could read in one sitting. I’ll just send along a few highlights that give many more reasons to defeat the Act 1 referendum.
Dr. G. Terry Madonna and Dr. Michael L. Young, two respected Pennsylvania academics, have written a very pointed essay on the fallacy of Act 1 and the reasons that property taxes are no longer a viable funding source for education. This piece is well worth reading and I would strongly suggest that you take the time to look at it. It is posted on the PTCC website here.
The National Taxpayers Union, a national-level taxpayer watchdog group, is recommending a “NO” vote on the Act 1 referendum. The link also has a good analysis of Act 1 and the consequences of the tax shift. http://ga1.org/ntu_action/notice-description.tcl?newsletter_id=4922564
PA Clean Sweep, the organization that contributed greatly to the ousting of many arrogant lawmakers during the 2006 elections, has come out strongly against the May 15 referendum and Act 1. Their website has their views on the issue and a downloadable handout for you to print and distribute at polling places. If you want to be a real activist, consider organizing a group of friends to hand these out at the polls on Election Day. http://www.pacleansweep.com/pr050707.html
Vote-No-EIT.org. Another good site with citizen activist information
on the defeat of Act 1.
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More School Boards Reject Act 1! In the last newsletter I told you about twelve Pennsylvania school boards who have signed a resolution condemning Act 1, calling for its repeal, and demanding that the legislature begin work on true property tax reform. The count is now TWENTY-SEVEN! Our thanks to all of these courageous school boards who are obviously looking out for their residents’ welfare. The list of approving boards is below my signature.
Please attend your school board meetings or call a school board member in your district and encourage them to approve this resolution. Act 1 MUST be shown as a fraud from as many sources as possible so that we can convince the Legislature that Act 1 is UNACCEPTABLE!
If you know of any school districts in your area that have approved the resolution, please let me know so we can keep an accurate count. Drop me a line at email@example.com.
The text of the resolution and other information about it are in a previous PTCC update available here.
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Finally, there are a startling number of voters who are completely unaware of the May 15 tax shift referendum and of the damage that it can do to their financial future; many people also think that a “NO” vote will keep them from receiving any other “benefits” from Act 1. This referendum is about tax-shifting ONLY. It has no effect whatsoever on any other Act 1 provisions. You can help to make them aware of the importance of this vote by spreading the word as widely as possible during the next week.
Remember that it is VITALLY important to our efforts to defeat the tax shift referendum. PLEASE forward this e-mail to everyone you know and encourage as many folks as possible to vote on May 15 and to vote “NO” on this referendum. Your help will be of benefit to all Pennsylvania taxpayers.
As usual, your comments, concerns, and suggestions are always invited. Just send an E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give you a prompt response.
Act 1 Resolution Schools as of May 8, 2007
1) Antietam (Berks)
2) Armstrong (Armstrong)
3) Athens (Bradford)
4) Boyertown (Berks/Montgomery)
5) Brandywine Heights (Berks)
6) Bristol Township (Bucks)
7) Canton (Bradford/Lycoming/Tioga)
8) Catasauqua (Lehigh/Northampton)
9) Centennial (Bucks)
10) Central Bucks (Bucks) (Largest district in the state subject to Act 1 provisions)
11) Coatesville (Chester)
12) Conrad Weiser (Berks)
13) Daniel Boone (Berks)
14) Exeter (Berks)
15) Governor Mifflin (Berks)
16) Marion Center (Indiana)
17) Muhlenberg (Berks)
18) Old Forge (Lackawanna)
19) Palmyra (Lebanon)
20) Pennsbury (Bucks)
21) South Williamsport (Lycoming)
22) Tunkhannock (Wyoming)
23) West Branch (Clearfield)
24) William Penn (Delaware)
25) Wilson (Berks)
26) Wyalusing Area (Bradford)
27) Wyomissing (Berks)