PENNSYLVANIA TAXPAYERS CYBER COALITION

Dedicated To Equitable Tax Funding Of Pennsylvania Schools

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NEW! April 16, 2014 Update. URGENT ACTION ITEM. A vote is coming and your help is needed now! Details are here.

December 17, 2013 Update. Major supporters join the effort in a big way; a remarkable SB 76 Senate hearing. Details are here.

October 11, 2013 Update. Deceit and lies in the PA House of Representatives; we're still fighting; a GREAT day! Details are here.

NEW! What is your potential school property tax increase for 2014? The 2014-2015 Act 1 index is here.

Your home's equity is being stolen! How property taxes are reducing your home's value. Click here.

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Features

Personal Property Tax Independence Act Tax Calculator
Excel calculator to see your tax savings under the provisions ofThe Property Tax Independence Act. Now includes calculations for Philadelphia property tax reduction!

The Property Tax Independence Act Petitions
Sign an individual petition to demonstrate your approval of the The Property Tax Independence Act or distribute a multi-signature petition to really gather support! Print extra copies for your friends, family, and neighbors so they can help, too! Download the petitions as PDF files here.

Why school property taxes need to be eliminated!
Two excellent essays on the fallacy of property taxes for education funding.

 

PTCC Archive


24 August 2007

Dear Friends,

It has been a delightful summer and I hope that all of you have enjoyed your time in the warm weather.

There has not been too much that has been newsworthy about property taxes over the past months, although a lot has been happening behind the scenes. It’s time now to get back to work on this issue.

Some good news from the past month

In the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on July 23, House majority whip Keith McCall said: “We are committed to making property tax reform the pre-eminent issue come this fall".

And an e-mail newsletter issued by the House Democratic Caucus on August 10 stated this about the fall agenda: “What can you look forward to? How about a revolutionary new bipartisan plan to eliminate school property taxes for homeowners?”

This is very good news. There is only one plan currently in the House that meets the above criteria of “bipartisan” and “elimination” – the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007, the former Plan For Pennsylvania’s Future, the school property tax measure supported by the PTCC. Now it will be up to us to ensure that these lawmakers will make good on their pronouncements.

Our chances for significant school finance reform are greater now than at any time in the past. We must be prepared over the next few months to do what is necessary to achieve our goal: school property tax ELIMINATION.

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PCTA Meeting

Representatives from the twenty-one member groups of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations (PCTA), the PTCC’s statewide umbrella organization, met on August 19 to develop plans and strategies to support the introduction of the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007 during the fall session of the legislature. It was a very spirited meeting and I’ll be sharing these strategies with you over the next few weeks.

During the meeting, the PCTA approved a resolution to the Pennsylvania General Assembly that demonstrates unequivocal support for the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007. You can read the resolution here.

Following the meeting the PCTA issued a press release about the meeting and the PCTA’s scathing opposition to a new, useless property tax “relief” bill, HB 1600. The press release is available here.

One of the speakers at the meeting was a former lobbyist who spoke to the PCTA about grassroots campaigns. An interesting fact that he related was that it can take as few as ten letters from constituents to change a legislator’s vote on an issue. For those of you who ever had doubts about the effectiveness of contacting your legislator, this should change your opinion!

Again, I’ll be sending more information in future newsletters about the PCTA’s efforts and how you can help to support the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007.

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Problem Legislation - IMPORTANT

On July 17, Representative David Levdansky (D-39, Allegheny/Washington) introduced House Bill 1600, another valueless, fraudulent property tax “relief” measure.

Already being advertised as a “good first step” (how many times have we heard THAT?!), HB 1600 is exactly the same as the Act 1 referendum that was resoundingly thrashed at the polls in May. It imposes a 0.5% increase in the sales tax and a .22% increase in the state income tax in return for an approximate $414 homestead exemption. The legislators who support this bill are telling us that it will offer an average 40%-50% reduction in property taxes, but this is simply more smoke and mirrors to try to gain taxpayer acceptance and is patently misleading.

HB 1600 is based on EXACTLY the same principle as the Act 1 tax shift. It imposes new, permanent taxes in exchange for minimal temporary “relief” that will quickly be eaten up by relentlessly rising property taxes. HB 1600 will not only leave taxpayers with their same burdensome property tax bills plus additional new taxes, it also will do nothing to address the antiquated, crumbling education finance system, the cost of education, or equitable funding for public schools. It is another valueless band-aid approach that will again leave Pennsylvania homeowners without true, effective property tax reform. Further, unlike the Act 1 referendum where voters had a voice in rejecting the measure, this bill can be enacted and jammed down our throats with no input whatsoever from taxpayers.

I am astonished at the arrogance of these legislators who think that they can again regurgitate the same old plan that has failed three times in the past and still expect us to fall for their charade. Their utter disregard for the intelligence of Pennsylvania taxpayers is incomprehensible and they must be told unequivocally that we WILL NOT tolerate any more of their misguided halfway measures.

The biggest concern with HB 1600 is that if it is enacted the legislature will tell us that they have given us property tax relief and nothing more will be done for the foreseeable future. As much as they like to tell us that this is another “first step”, we know that if HB 1600 passes it will be the last step towards true education finance reform for a very long time.

We MUST fight this measure in any way possible.

First, I would ask all of you to please contact your Representative and ask him or her to support property tax ELIMINATION when the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007 is introduced. Further, request that they absolutely reject House Bill 1600 as another inadequate attempt at property tax relief. If you do not know your Representative’s contact information it is available by Zip+4 here.

Second, and more importantly, please attend one of the hearings that are being held for HB 1600 by the State House Finance Committee. A hearing will be held in Bucks County on August 27 and in Berks County on August 29; information is below. If you live in either of these counties or the counties surrounding them, PLEASE make an effort to attend one of these hearings to voice your displeasure with House Bill 1600. A huge attendance by concerned taxpayers can make a significant impression on these legislators.

MONDAY, AUGUST 27, 2007
1:00 PM FINANCE COMMITTEE Public hearing on HB 1600 - Property Tax
(Hosted by Rep. Chris King)
Falls Twp. Building
Community Room
188 Lincoln Highway
Fairless Hills, PA (Bucks County)

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2007
10:00 AM FINANCE COMMITTEE Public hearing on HB 1600 - Property Tax
(Hosted by Rep. David Kessler)
Oley Fair Center
26 Jefferson Street
Oley, PA (Berks County)

Other hearings will be scheduled later in various parts of the state; I’ll pass along the information when it’s received.

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In closing, I want to thank all of you for your support of our efforts to achieve honest, equitable school finance reform. Please work to enlist the help of others in this campaign so we can have an even larger base of support for the benefit of all Pennsylvania taxpayers and schoolchildren. The more hands, the better!

Your questions and concerns are always welcome – please write to me at pataxpayers@gmail.com.

David Baldinger
PTCC Administrator