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13 May 2010
The time for choosing has arrived! This Tuesday, May 18, is the date for the Pennsylvania primary election.
As you know, the PTCC and PCTA have endorsed Sam Rohrer for Governor because of his unwavering efforts for property tax elimination and his promise to accomplish this if elected. PLEASE be sure to vote for Sam on May 18 if you’re a registered Republican. I know that many of you have changed your party affiliation so you can vote for Sam and your help is greatly appreciated.
If you’re a Democrat, please consider voting for Jack Wagner for Governor. His stance on property tax elimination is not nearly as definitive as Sam’s but at a gubernatorial forum in Hershey a few weeks ago he said about property taxes, "Sam Rohrer has some great ideas and it's really time to listen to him." This is more than any of the other Democratic candidates have offered and it’s great to hear a possible Democratic opponent considering Sam’s plan.
All 203 seats in the PA House of Representatives are up for grabs as well, although there are not very many primary election contests. If you live in a district where there is a primary opponent, please do some research before you vote to determine who supports property tax elimination. Remember, “relief” and “reform” are not what you want to hear. ELIMINATION is the only acceptable word!
One last note on the election: This Saturday, May 15, at 10:00 AM, Sam will be having a rally on the Capitol steps in Harrisburg with country music star Aaron Tippin. It’s going to be a great event, the weather forecast is for a beautiful day and a huge showing should get lots of media attention, so please attend, bring some friends, and help to swell the crowd! There will be buses available from some areas to make transportation simple. Details of the rally are here. It’s free!
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Property tax “relief” for 2010
On May 1 the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced the 2010 school property tax “relief” from gambling money. The average rebate is $194 and homeowners in most school districts will be receiving less than last year. So much for the “historic” relief promised by Governor Ed Rendell! You can find the amount for your school district here.
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More phony property tax relief legislation
On May 4, just in time for the election, the House Finance Committee voted out two property tax “relief” bills that are more of the same old smoke and mirrors. Both bills were introduced by our old friend and the king of bogus property tax relief plans, Representative David Levdansky.
HB 2483 calls for a change to the PA Constitution so the legislature could prevent home improvements from increasing the assessed value and, consequently, the property tax bill of a home. The bill would help ensure that homeowners can make improvements to their houses without fear of a property tax hike. While this has some value, it is still a Band-Aid that does nothing to solve the problem of runaway property taxes.
HB 2484 calls for a change to the PA Constitution so the legislature could allow local taxing authorities to exempt the total value of a home from property tax assessments. This is the same homestead exclusion bill that Rep. Levdansky trots out each term just before the election to convince voters that he and the Democrats are working on property tax relief. Its only purpose is to ALLOW the homestead exclusion to increase to 100% of the home’s value but does not guarantee that this will ever happen. If passed, it will require further enabling legislation to have any effect and there’s no guarantee that this will ever happen, either.
Both measures were immediately tabled upon hitting the House floor.
Since these bills both require a Constitutional amendment, they must be passed by two succeeding sessions of the General Assembly and then will be subject to a voter referendum. The minimum time before enactment is three years and more legislation must then be passed to enable HB 2484. These bills are simply another charade meant to deceive voters into thinking that the politicians are actually doing something about the property tax problem.
That’s all for now. Keep the faith and keep your support strong. We WILL win if we just persist in our efforts.
PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO VOTE ON TUESDAY!