Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Act 1

There is only one question on the Pennsylvania primary ballot this year and it's asking people to agree to an increase of income taxes in return for a cut in property taxes to fund school districts. This is a bad idea on many levels. It would require filing yet another tax return because not only would your earned income be taxed but interest and investments. The law says that revenue generated by the new tax should be used to offset property taxes but there is no guarantee of that happening.

We were sold a bill of goods saying that the slots money would be used to reduce our property taxes but we haven't seen a dime of that money yet. So why this proposal?

In the Wilkes-Barre Area School District where I live that question is framed like this; Voters in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District will find a referendum on the ballot May 15 asking if they favor increasing the earned income tax by 0.4 percent in exchange for an estimated $244 reduction in property taxes. Those who own eligible homesteads and have applied for the exemption would be eligible for the property tax cut.

Jennifer has the trade offs involved:

For a certain group of people (i.e. seniors on a fixed income who own their own homes), voting for Act 1 makes sense. For another group of people (i.e. people who work but do not own a home), voting against Act 1 makes sense.
For people like me (i.e. people who work and own a home), it's a bit of a toss-up. What you might gain in property tax reductions, you'll probably lose to the increased income tax. I also suspect that the increased income tax may end up being the larger of the two numbers, so if I vote "yes" for Act 1, I'd actually be volunteering to increase my own tax burden.


PACleanSweep objects on constitutional grounds:

Article III, Section 14 of the Pennsylvania Constitution states: "The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth."

And also points out:

If the Act 1 referendum is approved, some taxpayers will win and some taxpayers will lose, but the majority of losers would be working families, renters and small businesses. Property taxes would not be reduced on rental or business properties and any tax rebates for other properties would not be keyed to property or assessment value. On average, a two-income home owning household in Pennsylvania would experience an overall tax increase.

6 comments:

Walter said...

Gort,
I am so glad to see that someone sees this Act 1 as it really is and thats a middle class taxpayer scam...The government wants us to "Believe" that the tax question is going to save us money on our property tax and it is not going to save us anything at all..The are going to raise the earned Income tax the same amount as the property tax relief that is being promised...I was on the committee for this in the Nanticoke Area School District and voiced my concern that we are robbing the taxpayers with one hand and covering their eyes with the other hand so the taxpayers cant see what we are doing to them...I hope the voters realize this before they vote and not just look at the question on the ballot as property tax relief only...

Walter said...

Gort,
Maybe the Mayor of Wilkes Barre got the idea of the "I Believe" slogan from the State Legislature...seems they have the same ideas that the taxpayers are very ignorant and cant see them for what they are trying to do to the working man of this state.

Doctor Rick said...

It also kills me, the big money.

Anonymous said...

Walter, why aren't you taking Marianne Toole to task.... I know its not your race....you always stand up for the average person... She is intimidating district employees to vote for her. Frank Pizzella has a voice message saved..... Walter bring this to life you have never been afraid of people... Don't start now

Walter said...

Anonymous,
What is this about with Marianne Toole...and why should I take her to task....If you know something is illegal and dont say anything to the proper officials or take a stand for what is the law....you are not any better than the one that you are accusing...I am not afraid of anyone or any political power because I will always fight for what is right and legal...send me some more information like who you are and if you will come forward if I need you...I would be glad to fight for you if it is the right and honest thing to do...

Tara said...

I first heard about Act 1 on KRZ on Tuesday afternoon. And they brought up a good, valid point- why haven't most people heard of it??? I didn't see an ad for it in the paper (Standard~Speaker, Hazleton) until Wednesday.

Finally, here's some more detailed explanation of what Act 1 is about. Thanks, Gort!! =-] Yeah, I'm not voting for it. I'm not a homeowner right now, but I pay a hell of a lot of income right now as it is and I don't wanna pay any more, thank you! I think we can all agree on that. Sounds like the income tax will outweigh any property tax saved...

I gotta go sleep, work tomorrow..........