PENNSYLVANIA TAXPAYERS CYBER COALITION

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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.

 

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12 September 2008

Dear Friends,

Welcome to September and I hope that all of you had a nice summer. This month the General Assembly returns to work after their summer recess and it is time for us to get busy again.

As you know, the School Property Tax Elimination Act, House Bill 1275, has been bottled up in the Appropriations committee by the House majority leadership since its introduction last November.

On July 3, Representative Sam Rohrer filed a Discharge Resolution signed by 26 of his colleagues to have the bill released from committee and onto the House floor for debate and an up-or-down vote. A Discharge Resolution is a procedural maneuver used to force a bill from committee when the committee has refused to act on the bill.

On Monday, September 15, Representative Rohrer will announce the Resolution on the floor of the House. After a waiting period of 48 hours the full House can vote on the resolution; a majority vote is necessary to release the bill from committee. This vote could come as early as Wednesday, September 17.

** ACTION ITEM **

Please contact your Representative by phone, e-mail, or letter as soon as possible to let him or her know that you expect them to vote in favor of the Discharge Resolution to allow HB 1275 to the House floor for debate. Further, be sure to firmly but respectfully let them know that your vote in November will be predicated solely on their approval of this resolution. You can find contact information for your Representative by clicking the “Find Your Legislators” link in the left column of any PTCC page or by clicking here.

There is NO GOOD REASON for any Representative to oppose this resolution. Voting for the resolution does not obligate them in any way to vote for HB 1275’s passage – it merely allows the bill to come to the House floor for an open and honest debate and a straight vote. The ONLY reasons for opposing this resolution would be orders from a Representative’s party leadership and pure partisan politics. For an issue as important as property tax elimination this is not a valid excuse.

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Also during the coming weeks there is a good possibility that HB 2199 will come to the House floor for a vote. This bill is the companion legislation to the School Property Tax Elimination Act that calls for a constitutional amendment to forever abolish property taxes as a method for funding public education. Since this is a constitutional amendment, it must be passed by two succeeding sessions of the General Assembly. Because of this, it is vitally important to our efforts that HB 2199 is passed before the end of this year.

Since HB 2199 is a very short and uncomplicated piece of legislation it is possible that it could be passed by both the House and Senate before the end of this legislative session. Your help will be needed again when this bill comes up for a vote, so stay tuned.

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I’m sure that you’ve seen my previous remarks about Representative David Levdansky of Allegheny/Washington Counties, the man who has most consistently and vocally opposed school property tax elimination.

In the last PTCC newsletter I described his new “plan” for property tax elimination that he is currently touting to his constituents. In his August 20 “Report to Seniors” newsletter he promotes the bill to “eliminate all school property taxes by the year 2010 and all school property taxes for senior citizens immediately.” Representative Levdansky knows that this bill has ZERO chance of passage during this session of the General Assembly, yet he uses it to solicit votes from the most vulnerable and desperate of Pennsylvania’s homeowners. It is unconscionable that he should raise false hope for these folks simply for blatant pandering.

Fortunately, Representative Levdansky has a November opponent in Ms. Monica Douglas of Elizabeth. I would urge anyone in or around Representative Levdansky’s district to do whatever they can to help Ms. Douglas with her campaign in the 39th district. Representative Levdansky’s defeat in November would be a HUGE step in the right direction for school property tax elimination.

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Finally, a note for PTCC subscribers in Northeast Pennsylvania. Luzerne County homeowners are fighting a recent inaccurate and disastrous property reassessment. A group of homeowners in that area have formed a tax advocacy group to oppose this reassessment and to work for the elimination of property taxes through HB 1275.

With one notable exception, ALL of the Representatives from Luzerne and Lackawanna counties have followed their leadership in opposition to HB 1275 and have offered nothing but lies and lame excuses to justify their vote.

The one exception, Representative Karen Boback of Luzerne County, will be hosting a town meeting and rally in support of school property tax elimination through HB 1275. Besides Representative Boback, speakers will include HB 1275’s prime sponsor, Representative Sam Rohrer, who will give a presentation on the bill, and me – I’ll be talking about HB 1275 from a taxpayer advocate’s perspective.

If you live in the Northeast, please plan to attend! The meeting will be held from 7 to 8:30 PM on Thursday, Sept. 18 at the Dallas Middle School, 2000 Conyngham Avenue. I hope to see you there.

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That’s all for now. Please continue your support of our grassroots effort for property tax elimination. Together, we WILL win!

Please feel free to contact me at pataxpayers@gmail.com with questions, comments, or concerns.

David Baldinger
PTCC Administrator