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It’s time to eliminate property taxes

Published April 27. 2018 10:47PM

Harrisburg, the time has come! Since the 24-24 tie vote in 2015 to eliminate school property taxes through HB76/SB76, Harrisburg has continued to drag its feet.

We, the property owners, continue to pay more and more each year, so why does this “regressive” tax burden continue to stay on the same path? If Harrisburg does not resolve this problem soon, I will use the phrase from Mark Madden, “I’ve got some bad news.” Simply it will never allow the homeowners the peace of mind they deserve.

Why not, Harrisburg? One reason comes to my mind, leadership. All in Harrisburg are aware of the problem, but over the past 20 years several so-called fixes, words like reform and reduce, were tossed around by all, but we the people call it “leadership.” One of the most misleading fixes was the revenues generated by gambling.

In 2004 it was sold to the people by the governor that the revenues generated by gambling would give relief to the school taxes, but never really gave the relief expected. So property owners continue to deal with increases year after year. The sad part of this regressive tax is the school district has the power to take your home.

Whether you lose your job, family members get sick and cannot generate income or senior citizens on fixed income who cannot keep up with those increases. Back in November, we the people were asked by Harrisburg through a voter referendum the question: yes or no to change the constitution to increase the homestead exclusion up to 100 percent elimination. The question has been answered YES, so now it is time for Harrisburg to fix the problem with the antiquated property tax system. The only fix is SB76 to eliminate funding through property taxes for education. The time is “NOW,” Harrisburg, to fix the problem once and for all.

Byron Schnell


They are paying your social security and Medicare. They also pay for the roads, emergency services, the difference between what your healthcare costs and what you actually pay, all the senior discounts, meals on wheels, senior transportation, senior housing, and many other services that seniors use and not pay into(freeload?).
What landlord takes the rent he gets and doesn't apply a portion of that to his taxes? None. You're just mad because...well oh boo-hoo you bought a building but don't wanna pay for it.
Let's see - senior poverty rate in PA - 8.5%.
Child poverty rate in PA - 31%

Yeah, lets make families with children pay for the schools. It's the perfect solution.

SHOCK TRUTH! You Want AMAZON in PENNSYLVANIA?! Pass Senate BIll 76 to ELIMINATE property taxes and you will have TEN AMAZONS!! Amazon is upset over a 0.26 cent tax in Seattle, we could save them MILLIONS and create non government jobs by simply implementing SB76.
I guess Joe does not own a home and has kids in school. Probably pays no school tax.
Yes, I tend to agree with you. The old argument that taxes are included in a renter's costs is misleading. If one item could be changed in property taxes it's this: each apartment that a landlord rents must be sent a tax bill. This bill must have the name of the tenant as well. Only then will this argument be put to rest.
If you pay 3,000 for property tax on your home, and then you decide to rent it out, you still pay 3,000 property tax. Actually, if you make it multi-unit, chances are your taxes would reassess higher. The renter ultimately ends up paying the taxes anyway because unless you are really into charity, you would set the rent amount high enough to cover all your expenses, including taxes, plus desired margin. This is why property tax is used for schools because it’s much more stable than income tax. Even if the number of renters increases, the tax base will remain stable. Income tax is not stable, drops in employment that are natural in any economy lead to more shortfalls.
All I'm saying is school tax must be made a per capita tax to be fair. It must be disconnected from land+property. As is stands currently renters are "assumed" to be making payment through their rental cost bundle. I'm saying why leave it to the landlord to be responsible for taxes...create a separate bill for the renters. And you are correct, drops in employment (people retire) reduce the cash flow. With an aging population in PA this old form of taxation cannot be sustained much longer.
You just made my argument. With lowered employment due to a spike in the retirees, how exactly do you suppose the 61% increase in earned income tax will remain a sustainable source of school funding? Workers will already be stretched by predictable increases in taxes to support the elderly and this proposal dumps more burden on them.

By the way, explain to me how property tax is an “old form” and income and sales tax is apparently “new form”. I think you need to do a little research on history.
Wrong tack on the argument. The lower employment/lower cashflow is from people (retirees AND millennials) LEAVING Pennsylvania. So the fix for the financial hole the state and school districts is to do nothing?

Property taxation for school funding was originally started in colonial Massachusetts ~1650 much earlier than income and sales tax (1953 for PA).

Additionally even more of a burden is put on property owners supporting retired teachers/admins (white collar union with public funded pension).

You have some good comments, but have no resolutions to a failing funding system. Do you offer any solutions than to just keep this system?
Unless properties are being demolished when they leave the state, the property tax revenue will remain stable. Outward migration and retirement adversely affects income tax revenue in that less people are earning income. Therefore what is the logic in moving school funding from a stable source of revenue to one that will be declining?

Income and sales taxes have been around since at least the Roman Empire. Justifying the elimination of property tax because it’s archaic loses its validity when you suggest an equally archaic solution.
To answer your question, I’m not sure the system is actually broken. Those who push this bill paint a picture of seniors being forced out of their homes by the thousands due to tax sales but statistics show that seniors are by and large in the best financial shape of all of us. Are some losing their houses? Sure but the problem is overstated and may be caused more often by poor retirement planning. Plus we spend billions on safety nets for those seniors who cannot afford housing.

If you truly want to help school district expenses, pass a Medicare for all or similar healthcare bill. More often than not, school districts are raising taxes to cover medical costs. Most strikes nowadays are over health insurance premiums. With the aging workforce this will worsen.
Well for sure the pension plan has to per the private sector solutions (401k, IRAs). And just think of all those senior (retired) teacher+admins still pulling income funded by taxpayers.

I think the senior issue again is the migration from Pennsylvania to other states. But the troubling articles I've read about millennials (college educated) moving out of state is a big tax base problem with this system. Not to mention the low birthrate in the state, ultimately resulting in a stagnant or reduced workforce....less people to share this tax matter the solution.
Senior migration from Pennsylvania to other states is not a bad thing. Seniors consume way more services than they contribute by taxes after retirement so its actually ideal that they move and be less of a strain. But Pennsylvania is not a terrible state for seniors comparatively. Many states tax social security and pensions at the EIT rates and PA does not do that.

Millennials will go where the jobs are. I do not buy that these bills will attract businesses because most large companies are already offered reduced or eliminated taxes to move to PA. The increase in EIT will kill small businesses and start ups.
Well I'm confused. Unless you are thinking that when a person retires they should be taxed more? Which they typically are due to rising taxes (increased school budgets and school pension shortfalls). And this is the wealthiest class of people, which you now desire out of the state? This reads like government jabberwocky now.

Thanks for the entertainment. Bye.
Sorry you are confused. The retirees have the most assets and savings but little income to tax. They are taxed on property which goes primarily to schools. They do not pay much income tax which goes to fund the other services I referenced. It creates a situation in which retirees are consuming income tax payor resources but not contributing to those buckets anymore. If they move out, someone will assume that property and tax.
Nope, I’m a home owner. And I have kids now but didn’t for most of my homeowning life yet I didn’t whine about paying school taxes when I had no kids in school. Tell you what, I won’t whine about providing you with your monthly income and healthcare if you stop whining about school taxes.
Hmm...quite the discourse. It has been informative, interesting and obviously well researched.
"The_FACTS" won me over in this debate!
You are certainly allowed your opinion but be aware, “the_facts” is a known lobbyist for this bill who is canvassing and writing letters all over the state with the same cut and paste content. He kind off disclosed that earlier but should have been up front about it if he was being transparent. That’s his prerogative. But ask yourself, is the largest income tax hike in history coupled with thousands of dollars of new sales tax for the average family really a solution? Is ceding control of your school district to the state in your best interest? With the baby boomers retiring and leaving the workforce is it really feasible to expect the smaller number of workers to support them and have the seniors share of taxes on top of it? Remember, the over 65 demographic is by far the richest demographic and this proposal will remove most of their taxes and put them on working families. Sound like a sustainable idea?
It is obvious Joe has not lived enough in the REAL world. He must be very young and has not lived through what we older people have already, JUST wait until you are our age and you WILL have a different opinion on the Garbage you are thinking of now. You must also be a DEMOCRAT I suppose.
I'm almost 50, I suppose its a matter of opinion as to whether that makes me young. Perhaps my perspective will change when I retire but I am hopeful that I don't turn out to be as entitled and demanding of hand-outs as many of our current retirees are. But I'm pretty sure that will not happen as I have been responsible about planning for my retirement.
Laws for the liberal education of youth, especially of the lower class of people, are so extremely wise and useful, that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.
John Adams
It is society's responsibility to fund public education, to it's own benefit!
What should be protested vehemently is our tax dollars being used toward, per diems, healthcare, stipends, bloated salaries and pensions of our Politicians.
No one is denying funding public education has operated and been successful with far less funding in the past. Current schools are performing worst with far more money
How about just eliminating the taxes for families were both spouses were over the age of 70?
House probably paid off, living on fixed income, why not exempt them? Or maybe you are waiting to purchase their house for taxes due?
I have now personally witnessed, our Lehighton elected board members, elected government oversight, abdicating their oversight to the very entity they were elected to oversee.

I have witnessed in Lehighton, a board voting for tax increases in years with a surplus budget, and increases while the district was holding excessive surplus funds.

I have now personally witnessed the lies, deceitful practices, and use of authority to intimidate, harrass and bully individuals, students, and even board members that speak put against the regime.

Thank you for electing me, we can fix it.
My stubborn, rigid principles of a moral government of the people, by the people, for the people are absolute. They were passed to me by those before me. We can do this. Damn the torpedos, send in the rabble rousers.

Citizen David F Bradley Sr.

Building a surplus to deal with future expenses such as capital and pensions is a very responsible thing for a school to do. However, perhaps you missed it, the Lehighton School district has not raised taxes for 4 straight years. A post this inaccurate, written apparently by a board member, should be very concerning to all the tax payers in the district.
The chickens must come home to roost in Lehighton. You want to give them a cookie for not raising taxes in 4 years, so be it. They built a new high school football stadium that taxpayers were against. Completely unnecessary! They then proceeded for force the elementary center project down the taxpayer's throats, even after the opposition to the project was obvious (see election results). The long term costs of these projects will crash down on the taxpayers. You don't need a math degree to see the financial sh!tstorm on the horizon for the residents of Lehighton. Time to install measures to give the public tighter control of the spending. A 9 member board is not enough.
Actually they are still positioned well, look at their financial disclosures and this supposed board member even referenced the surpluses in his post. Capital projects are expensive in the short term but less so in the long run when compared to the maintenance to aging and inefficient physical plants. Many a school district has learned this the hard way. The fact that Lehighton did this with no tax increase(not even an inflation adjustment) does earn them a cookie.
You know it! Lehighton School Board is nothing but morons. Palmerton SD is becoming that way too. Palmerton is trying to keep up with Lehighton's wasteful spending habits....every "little" project is $1million. You don't need new school building for districts with stagnant enrollment!
The extra charges of a government on the purchasing of property in the form of general country tax can be eliminate easily with in a seven days according to the rules and regulations of a government,If you write an application with the authentic reasons for a elimination of property tax and also attached a legal documents of a property tax pairs after that submitted in the government office by the tax layers which is helpful for you to approved the claim of your property tax in the seven days without any allegations of a government on the application of your property tax ,Remember don’t write any irreverent reasons in the applications of property tax you want to submit in the office of government and also don’t attached any illegal or extra document of property which increase the chances to refuse or neglect your claim application ,So keep it in your mind all the instructions and requirements given to you by the tax layer after concerning this kind of matter according to the current policy of government .
Without a doubt, the most irrational, rambling, run-on sentence I have EVER read that was written in the English language.

What is a tax layer? Kin to a Rhodie?
The extra charges of a government on the purchasing of property in the form of general country tax can be eliminate easily with in a seven days according to the rules and regulations of a government,If you write an application with the authentic reasons for a elimination of property tax and also attached a legal documents of a property tax pairs after that submitted in the government office by the tax layers which is helpful for you to approved the claim of your property tax in the seven days without any allegations of a government on the application of your property tax ,Remember don’t write any irreverent reasons in the applications of property tax you want to submit in the office of government and also don’t attached any illegal or extra document of property which increase the chances to refuse or neglect your claim application ,So keep it in your mind all the instructions and requirements given to you by the tax layer after concerning this kind of matter according to the current policy of government .
Hello, start earning money by paid surveys.
For official government business, my contacts are as follows:


Lehighton Area School District
Director David F. Bradley, Sr.
Personal and Confidential
1000 Union Street
Lehighton, Pa 18235

Official district related correspondences sent to any other location will be rejected.
All district business emails are obtainable through an open records request.

All remaining emails holders signed a document allowing their emails to be monitored by the adminstration, therefore, I would not considered them private.

If you rationally or irrationally fear or perceive there are risks of retaliation against you, your children, or relatives working in the district, I suggest you seek a more private means of communication.

All voices are valued. The PA School Code of our government schools, reference your rights to transparency. Honor the veterans that provided these rights by exercising them. Ensure they remain with us for future generations by sharing the knowledge of your rights with others.


Citizen David F. Bradley, Sr.
LOL...Lehighton School Board are a bunch of clowns! Lehighton school District has Lehigh Valley tax rates but they are not in LV. They should stop building new schools and turf fields...worry about learning and keeping Lehighton affordable for property owners! Too many pipedreams that Lehighton is some great high school football power
JOE one day and I hope soon you will be an older citizen and have to experience what we are now. Oh ya you are rich and can afford it live in better house and drive expensive cars. I wish you the best in your old age and hope you go broke and can't afford decent food and housing and cars and heat in your home. In fact I hope you loose your home like I may soon. So shut your stupid mouth until you live it. Your supposed education means nothing to us. Also you don't put any food or supply me with any services I do not receive any state or federal help I support myself barely.
I'm sorry that things are not going well for you. Please reach out for assistance>

I'm so sad you didn't learn about property tax until after you bought your property. Must have been a huge shock for you.

And getting old? Hint - it happens to every single person who was clever enough to avoid dying young.
What about all the housing projects and section 8 housing - mothers that have 4-8 kids just for the benefits and live without a care in the world. Why do I have to pay for their kids school, housing, food, medical, etc.???? No one seems to REALLY care about the people pulling the wagon. I just wish these welfare people (about half the country) would contribute SOMETHING.
Because when the population of the disaffected gets too large, bad things happen. There's this thing called history which tells us what can happen.

See - The French Revolution
See - lots of the well-off folks had their heads forcibly removed from their bodies in huge, public entertainment festivals
Property taxes are too high. However, property taxes pay to fund schools. I have lived in states where the sales tax is 8% and that's where funding comes from. Problem is that our state officials waste too much on everything. How do you think Doyle Heffley can afford to sponsor golf tournaments and run non-stop campaign ads? Tax income has to come from somewhere.....I like sales tax method because its based on consumption. When you tax real estate you force elderly out of homes or farmers to sell farm
Very hilarious to truly believe property tax would go away. They already passed laws that says they can continue even if a new system is instituted so old debt can be paid. That's why all the schools districts in Times News area started financing new schools and installing turf fields. This is just a pipe dream used by State Legislature...aka Doyle Heffley to con voters. The guy has no finance or business experience. What do you guys expect he a Lincoln Tech grad. Totally unqualified to be in government..but that's the type of guys who run. You are not Keith McCall!

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