let-Schnell/ab

let-Schnell/ab

Submitted by on Fri, 04/27/2018 - 22:47

It’s time to eliminate property taxes

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

Lehighton

You people do realize that these Bills abolishing property taxes is just smoke and mirrors right? #1, you will still have property taxes that will cover the long term debt of your local school district. Take a look at the financials of your local SD some time and see just how much that it. In most cases its tens of millions. #2 the tax burden will remain but instead we will see a sharp increase in sales tax to make up for it. Sales tax increases does a great deal of harm to the local and state economies and really harms small business owners. Sales tax will always push consumer spending down. If thats not enough, the Bill also calls for a 62% increase in personal Income taxes. So if this passes, you will still have property tax(albeit lower), but also sharp increases in sales and income tax. #3 The funding of schools will be by a single entity, the state. No longer will you have say in how your district spends its money or raises revenue..it will all be Harrisburg bureaucrats.

This is one of the most understood parts of the bill. On a statewide average the debt portion of your bill is 18% meaning an immediate 82% reduction of your SD tax bill. I do not know a soul who would not jump at an 82% reduction. In addition most SDs carry multiple bonds with various sunset dates. Thus the 18% will actually step down as time passes until last bond is paid off. NO NEW debt can be added without express consent of taxpayers via voter referendum. When last bond paid off bill goes to zero for ever. The percentage numbers used are right out of the anti 76 playbook talking points. PIT increases 1.88% form 3.07% to 4.95%. What you fail to cite is the vast majority will financially win under SB76. There tax bills are far larger than the PIT / SUT impact. Finally the PA IFO Office financially vetted the bill twice and passed it with flying colors.

The elimination of school property taxes increases the disposable income of property taxpayers. The analysis assumes that 70% of the property tax cut goes to individuals. It further assumes that homeowners spend 90% of the increase in disposable income. (Pages 17-18)

The analysis indicates that the legislation will cause home values to increase, on average, by more than 10% statewide. (Page 23)

Working age homeowners realize a tax cut. The analysis finds that the increase in federal income tax (through lower itemized deductions), state income tax, and sales tax is more than offset by the reduction in property taxes. (Page 21)

Retired homeowners realize a significant reduction in taxes. The analysis finds that the property tax reduction easily offsets any increase from the higher sales tax. (Page 21)

The elimination of property taxes would significantly reduce the property tax share and would clearly increase the attractiveness of the Commonwealth for business location and expansion. (Page 25)

Benefits would also accrue to home builders, home developers, and other land owners who convert current land holdings into new housing plots. Employment would increase in the construction sector as well. (Page 23)

(Regarding business entities) … the income flows through to individuals as higher disposable income. For pass through entities, the analysis assumes that owners and shareholders spend 90 percent of the increase and 70 percent is spent on taxable goods and services, yielding another secondary effect of $34 million in increased sales taxes for FY 2013-14. (Page 18)

You need a lesson in math. 3.07% to 4.95% is not a "1.88%" increase in taxes. If I make $100,000 a year, under current tax law my state taxes are $3,070. Under the new proposal, it would be $4,950. That is an increase of $1,880 a year. This is a 61% increase over my previous tax liability! A 1.88% increase would be a $58 increase yearly. Pretty dishonest way of quoting the numbers from someone saying they have facts!

Well I surely do not need a lesson in math, retired engineer. The PIT increase can be looked at in two ways. Since, in theory, it is possible for the tax to go to 100% it is then a 1.88% increase. Based on maxed out at 4.95 then yes 61%. But the 61% increase in right out of the PSEA / PSBO scare tactic playbook. Did you read the PA IFO analysis bullet. Retired homeowners realize a significant reduction in taxes. The analysis finds that the property tax reduction easily offsets any increase from the higher sales tax. (Page 21) The second sentence refers to non retired. The vast majority win under 76. There is a calculator at www.ptcc.us that will provide a highly accurate assessment of an individuals personal situation. Since it is impossible to do for everyone I inputted PA median family income of $54,000 per most recent census data, typical other income, and deductions (very few in PA) into the calculator. For an income at this level and the calculator shows that if your property tax is north of $1250 you win. You are correct on PIT number for 1.88% increase bring $1880. The estimated SUT impact would be roughly $550 for some making $100,000 (VERY FEW IN AREA). So your PIT / SUT impact would be roughly $2430 above what this $100,000 person is paying now paying. But, what were their SD property taxes. The mean in Carbon County is about $2,000 but a $100,000 income person would almost assuredly own a home worth way more than typical in town homes in Carbon County. Also, the median family income in Carbon County is less that the state average which I used for Carbon County, thus, the break even number is even lower (better for property owner). I would guesstimate a $100,000 income person in Carbon County owns a home worth at least $250K which would have a property tax north of $4K. Thus this person wins by about $1,600. In addition SD property taxes rise every year where SUT and PIT are modified in term of decades. THE PA IFO has determined that PIT and SUT rise intrinsically every year enough to fund the annual SD increases defined under SB76. This means PIT and SUT rie natually. Massive win / win.

No, there is not two definitions of "percent" and in no world is this a "1.88% increase". If you are indeed an engineer than you know this is a bold faced lie. When you lead off with a lie of that magnitude it casts huge doubt on the rest of your post. If local taxes went from 1% to 2%, would you say "no big deal, it just went up 1%" or would you say "they just doubled my taxes"? It is a 61% increase in taxes and no lie you tell can change that. Learn what "percent" means or stop lying.

Those of you reading this and considering these bills please just understand this. This person arguing for this stands to benefit greatly because he/she is retired and has less taxable income. Probably has a paid off house. Probably has a lot more money than you! Probably doesn't think they should have to pay for schools anymore. Wants YOU to pay more than he/she even though they are retired and are sitting on a pile of savings and collect social security and getting medicare. Make no mistake, this bill is a windfall for those with lots of real estate assets and no earned income. It is a disaster for those in lower paying jobs who either rent or do not own an expensive house. It will also kill many retail employers. It is a money grab for the richest, do not support it.

Your missing the entire point. Did I deny the 61%, NO. As and engineer there are multiple ways to look at data. PIT going from 3.07% to 4.95% is an absolute change of 1.88%. To be frank, if one uses the 61% many will not listen to the FACTS because it is a talking point SCARE TACTIC that fails the facts and the citizens. Even if we use the scare tactic number of 61% the vast majority WIN and that is the bottom line! The PA IFO team who analyzed the bill is staking the entire PA budget on their analysis. I think they took their job damn seriously. Do a google search and check the credentials of these folks. The facts are that the property tax savings under SB76 outstrip the PIT/SUT impact and that is the BOTTOM LINE. A vast majority of folks WIN. As far as lying I once had a Supervisor of suggesting I was honest to a fault. Lying is not in my moral character!

If indeed you're honest, then the issue is you just don't understand statistical terms. My presentation of the impact on income taxes is absolutely correct and should scare people. The largest income tax hike in state history occurred in 1991 when the rate went from 2.1% to 2.6%, or a 23.8% increase. What is proposed here is a tripling of that record. You can try to downplay it all you want but I doubt there has ever been a state income tax hike of that magnitude anywhere in the US history. Couple that with a 17% increase in sales tax and you are successful in your goal, transfer tax burden off of those with big houses and squeeze working class folks who do not have the resources to buy a house.

"Since, in theory, it is possible for the tax to go to 100% it is then a 1.88% increase."

Sorry, but it's a 1.88 percentage POINT increase, not a percentage increase. Big difference.

The numbers set forward by all the groups for this joke of a tax redistribution bill all assume increased economic growth. Every economist on the planet will tell you that an increase in sales tax, and an increase in income tax, hurts businesses. All the bill does is transfer the tax revenue from one type of tax to another and results in much higher taxes for most residents of the commonwealth(those who do not own or have low property taxes).

Sure you do, you have a school board that is voting in by you. If they are not managing finances the way you want, you vote them out. Not to mention as local officials, you have much better access to them than if it were state level.

Excuse Me !!!!! "JOE"
You should go to the right library for your information before you make comment ! Obviously you know nothing of the bill.
#1 if your School Board has been disrespectful and been spending YOUR MONEY...... AND OUR MONEY like they have an open checkbook, then unfortunately WE ARE RESPONSIBLE to pay that debt. If you just happen to have $106 +
million in your wallet to pay off the bonds, WE would all be indebted to you ! As the bill is designed the debt will be paid as the sunset date for each bond has been reached. Once all bonds are satisfied this regressive property tax will be DEAD FOREVER !!!!!
#2 Sales And Use Tax will increase $.01 per every dollar spent and nothing under $50.00 will be taxed and this burden will be levied to every consumer across the state resident or not, not a bad trade off for losing your house if your a Senior, or if you are a first time home owner looking to enjoy a comfortable life style and eventually own your home instead of renting it from the state.
#3 The taxes collected will be consigned to the Education Stabilization Fund. FINALLY there will be local control and residents will have Controll of how they live there life. If your School Board wants to spend your money they will have to ask you by a voter referendum. End of story !! So you will be informed I will give you a link to the bill.
https://www.legiscan.com/PA/bill/SB76/2017

Sorry superspook, but the ones who hold the purse strings are the ones the school is beholden. The state will have all the money and will make all the decisions at the end of the day. If your school board is not responsive to the community, I suggest vote for new ones.

The current debt will be paid down, this is correct, but new debt will begin to accrue that is paid down by the other tax sources such the sales tax or state income taxes. Unless you believe that your school district will suddenly not have to float bonds to cover deficit or capital costs upon passage of this bill........

By the way, do you know what age group in America is by far the wealthiest? The over 65 group. And by a long shot. All these bills do is remove some tax burden from the richest and creates a regressive tax system that puts more burden on families, especially those who do not own a home. The over 65 crowd had a lifetime to save, and already enjoy many benefits not available to families. Lets pass pass legislation that helps families and doesn't tax them more.

You suggested I need a math class, you need an accounting class. Once again from the PA IFO - The elimination of property taxes would significantly reduce the property tax share and would clearly increase the attractiveness of the Commonwealth for business location and expansion. (Page 25). The entire state would become a KOZ. This would result in incalculable growth. Mom and Pops would stabilize and grow. New Corporations would find PA an attractive place for business and flock here. The bill would put $14B back in the pockets of families to spend. This would hyper stimulate the economy. Job creation means more PIT and SUT revenue. This is a spiraling up self fulfilling prophecy. Also PIT goes away when retired meaning there is a morally conscientious hedge against inflation for those on fixed income.

Yes but folks have more money than before and can afford the increased cost and still have money in their pocket. They may actually buy the newspaper again even though it would be taxed under SB76. As the PA IFO states, more income will be expendable.

You give the $14B back to the people and they inject it into the economy hyper stimulating the economy. Low income folks are protected by the bill in a number of ways. Also, home ownership is at all time lows and rental occupancy at all time highs. The dream of home ownership is a dying dream for many since property taxes often exceed mortgage. SB76 would unleash a crazy pent up demand by renters to buy. This in, turn would leave landlords in price wars to fill their units. This would directly help with community blight, pride in ownership rather than slumlords. At the very worst it would stabilize rents. Marker forces always prevail.

The demand for construction workers and realtors would sky rocket helping many find good stable work. Folks fear putting additions on their homes due to tax increase. That would all change.

PA is one of the leading states for out-migration. Number one reason cited, taxes with property taxes being the highest category. There are 10,000 tax sales every year. If those homes contain the average family we are talking 40,000 souls be tossed out into the street annually. This is above and beyond foreclosures. Inability to pay mortgage (property taxes escrowed) is either a direct or indirect cause of foreclosures. There are far more that 10,000 foreclosures annually in PA. There are probably at least 100,000 souls tossed out of their homes annually in PA.

Our universities are consider top in nation, we educate our youth but many leave due to lack of opportunity. Shed property taxes from business and the business fortunes of PA would dramatically improve stemming the brain drain issue.

The positives of SB76 are an incredible positive domino impact which goes far beyond the tax shift. It is simply a more fair and equitable way to fund education. Spread the cost to everyone based on their ability to pay, not on their zip code.

NO TAX SHOULD HAVE THE POWER TO LEAVE YOU HOMELESS!

You pretend that if you didn't pay your income tax that the state wouldn't come after your house.

Another lie: "Home ownership is at all time lows". Home ownership rates are still higher than what it was in the 70's and generally equal to the 80's and 90's. Has home ownership gone down in the last 10 years? Yes, but not because of taxes. In case you missed it, mortgage companies were giving out huge mortgages to unqualified buyers and that whole bubble popped when those buyers couldn't pay the bills when the great recession hit. That was an issue of fiscal discipline by buyers fueled by bankers greed.

Lets address out migration. I haven't seen polls but I wouldn't doubt that property tax is among the reasons because the majority of those leaving are retirees. I love the older folks in my life but THIS IS A GOOD THING. As people age they become more of a financial burden on the services of the state and they do not pay income taxes to cover it. They consume medical care that is not 100% reimbursed by Medicare. Frankly, if property taxes serve as an encouragement to retirees to leave, this is better for the state.

BTW, if indeed you are a retired engineer(one that doesn't know simple math) I understand why you are pushing for a regressive tax like these bills. Yes, the retired will benefit by shifting more of the tax burden on to working families. However, we need to look at taxation in a way that spreads the burden more fairly and this scheme does not do that. The retired had a lifetime to save and numerous safety nets so don't try to sell me the "fixed income" BS. Raising the tax burden on the working poor just so we can cut the taxes of the wealthiest age group will not benefit us in the long run. These bills just shift burden to those who can least afford it,

See above for more detailed explanation but you state we need a tax that spreads the burden more fairly. Pretty much exactly what 76 does. By implanting SB76 the resulting job boom will result in many improving their standard of living, many poor would have the opportunity to be lifted out of poverty. Not sure why you keep insulting folks. Weakens you arguments greatly. You state do not sell me the, "Fixed income BS". Well go tell that to the many struggling fixed income folks, some who are Veterans. There is a team of us that travel all across the state going door to door to explain SB76. I have had more than one elderly person end up crying real tears on my shoulder when they realize I was not there asking for money, but trying to save their home. They begged me to do everything in my power to save their homesteads. That is my mission.

Calling out lies is not insulting. Just be up front, you represent the desires of the richest among us, the over 65 age group. I am advocating for those who will be hurt by a huge income tax increase. The nice thing about property taxes is that it is a voluntary tax. If you don't want to pay it, sell your home and rent. You can rent just as nice of a home in this state as you can buy.


Income and sales taxes are another story. Both cut into a consumer's ability to consume with no escape mechanism other than to not buy things. Lowered consumption hurts business, particularly retail and manufacturing. Saying that this bill will spark business growth is going against every market force as we know them. You also leave out that most business in the commonwealth are small and pay the individual income tax. This proposal will kill those businesses.

I get it, this benefits you personally because you don't have earned income, you are not looking for a job and you have a big house. But laws need to be passed that benefit the whole.

More Facts

Aside from the historic income tax increase, you will also have an immediate 7% increase in the cost of all of these goods and services. Take note, prefabricated housing is subject to taxes under this plan, so much for helping lower income home buyers. Oh, and all your food will go up 7% overnight as well. This is a terrible bill.

NEWLY TAXABLE GOODS

•Food (not including items on the Women Infant and Children list)
•Candy and gum
•Clothing and footwear over $50 per garment
•Non-prescription drugs
•Newspapers and magazines
•Personal hygiene products, including diapers
•Religious publications
•Caskets and burial vaults
•Flags
•Textbooks
•Motion picture rentals for commercial exhibition
•Direct mail/mail order catalogs and magazine subscriptions
•Horses
•Historical markers and memorials
•Computer software
•Used prebuilt housing
•Airline catering
•Uniform Commercial Code filing fees
•Metal bullion and investment coins
•Alcohol served at drinking establishments


NEWLY TAXABLE SERVICES

•Intrastate transportation of persons utilizing air, rail, water and taxi services, including public transportation
•Towing services
•Sightseeing and tour buses
•Movie theater and drive-in admission
•Basic and premium cable subscription
•Investment advice
•Legal services (except business-to-business, family and criminal law)
•Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services (except business-to-business)
•Architectural and engineering services (except business-to-business)
•Specialized design services (except business-to-business)
•Advertising and public relations (except business-to-business)
•Services for buildings and dwellings (except business-to-business)
•Scientific, environmental and technical consulting services (except business-to-business)
•Information services (except business-to-business)
•Office administrative services (except business-to-business)
•Facilities support services (except business-to-business)
•Custom programming, design and data processing services (except business-to-business)
•Veterinary services (except business-to-business)
•Parking and garage services (except business-to-business)
•Employment services
•Waste management
•Non-tuition and non-housing-related charges imposed by junior colleges, colleges, universities, and professional schools
•For-profit ambulatory health care, nursing care facilities, substance abuse facilities, retirement communities
•Daycare services
•Spectator sports, theater, dance and musical admissions (excluding schools, non-profit and charitable organizations)
•Museum, zoos and amusement park admission
•Recreational parks and campgrounds
•Haircuts and salon services
•Funeral home services
•Dry cleaning and laundry services

Yep all that and folks still WIN. Once again based on on historical regression analysis. The elimination of school property taxes increases the disposable income of property taxpayers. The analysis assumes that 70% of the property tax cut goes to individuals. It further assumes that homeowners spend 90% of the increase in disposable income. (Pages 17-18)

The analysis indicates that the legislation will cause home values to increase, on average, by more than 10% statewide. (Page 23)

Working age homeowners realize a tax cut. The analysis finds that the increase in federal income tax (through lower itemized deductions), state income tax, and sales tax is more than offset by the reduction in property taxes. (Page 21)

Retired homeowners realize a significant reduction in taxes. The analysis finds that the property tax reduction easily offsets any increase from the higher sales tax. (Page 21)

The elimination of property taxes would significantly reduce the property tax share and would clearly increase the attractiveness of the Commonwealth for business location and expansion. (Page 25)

Benefits would also accrue to home builders, home developers, and other land owners who convert current land holdings into new housing plots. Employment would increase in the construction sector as well. (Page 23)

(Regarding business entities) … the income flows through to individuals as higher disposable income. For pass through entities, the analysis assumes that owners and shareholders spend 90 percent of the increase and 70 percent is spent on taxable goods and services, yielding another secondary effect of $34 million in increased sales taxes for FY 2013-14. (Page 18)


Sorry Robert, I have graduate education in econ, finance and business and there is no getting around in my mind that the conclusions you continue to cut and paste are not backed by reality. I put my info into that calculator and came back with significantly higher taxes. Now granted, I have a high income and I live in a more modest home than many but I'm not alone. But I am in the demographic that drives job creation and I'm not sure you can project booming business when people like me are getting increased taxes. On the other hand, the 35% of the state that rents will be harmed greatly with a 61% increase in income taxes, the biggest increase in the history of the state, along with added taxes on necessities. I think all told, it is very safe to say this bill will cause higher taxes for a majority in the state.

Beware of projections that assume consistent sustained economic growth. The economy just doesn't work that way and there are many factors that are involved. To say a redistribution of 15 billion in tax revenue will suddenly give us more money is just not based in reality or common sense.

One thing's for sure....the goons in H-burg use the subject as a crutch to get re-elected. Then it's silence until the next vote.

That’s because nobody is Harrisburg really thinks that increasing the state budget by 15billion is a good idea. And localities know it’s a disaster for the taxpayers and the kids.

Not to mention that it is likely a violation of our state Constitution. Article 3; Section 14
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. This means funding should be coming from the state level. Article 3; Section 14 may soon be tested. Two years ago six school districts filed a lawsuit claiming the state has “adopted an irrational and inequitable school financing arrangement.”
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to hear the lawsuit. In their ruling that the case may continue they found that the “state constitution is not a loose set of guidelines.” Justice David Wecht wrote, “It is settled … that constitutional promises must be kept.” If Supreme Court rules to enforce Article 3; Section 14 ALL school funding would be required to come from a state level source, once again exactly what SB76 does.

.

Nobody who cares about their children's education should want to yield the control of their schools to the state. By the way, the constitution does not say what kind of tax can be levied. Are you saying the state can't administer property taxes?

The state already has control. Local control is pretty much a myth. It is proven to be a myth by the more than 3,000 pages of rules, regulations and mandates handed down from the state to local school boards. Actually, passage of the Property Tax Independence Act would enable true transparency of school district budgets. In fact, local taxpayers will gain far more control within their school districts via a no-exception ballot referendum. Requests for additional revenue from school districts (via a local EIT or PIT only) must be approved by taxpayers. The only thing eliminated is the ability of school boards to just ignore taxpayers. Plainly spoken, if your school district wants a college like sports complex they will have to fully explain their needs to you, the taxpayer. Finally, taxpayers would have the final say in funding said college like sports complex.

You’re misleading people. It would only go to referendum if the school district wanted to float more debt or enact local taxes. The state can increase income or sales tax or adjust budgets anytime it wants through act of the legislature and wouldn’t need a vote. Budgetary control would be with the state and they can cut your schools funding or raise your taxes to cover budget shortfalls any time they want. Besides your trying to argue both ways. Earlier you explained its unconstitutional for localities to fund their schools so clearly you believe the state should control our schools.

The Constitution states the General Assembly owns education, thus, funding should be coming from the state level. The Supreme Court already hinted they may rule this way. Would be a shocker if they do.

As poll after poll has shown by overwhelming results, folks want SD property taxes eliminated. The mandate was made clear via the vote of last years 100% Homestead Exclusion vote. People get it. After two decades of SD property taxes rising must faster than inflation or Average Weekly Wage increases they have spoken? The funding monster is slowly eroding the standard of living for many.





We need ALL the people in Rent and with several kids in our schools who do not pay any taxes to pay there share. ALL the older people with no kids in school are paying for ALL these freeloaders.

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.

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.

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.