are you still mad? It’s time for Pennsylvania taxpayers to demand property tax relief – The Morning Call

A recent audit that questioned school property tax hikes in Bethlehem, Northampton and other Pennsylvania communities should anger many.

Property tax burden is a big problem. More attention is required. If a lot of people get mad, something might change eventually.

Comptroller General Timothy DeHua’s office surveyed more than a dozen school districts.he accused them of playing “shell games” By transferring money to an account that doesn’t count toward your unlimited funds balance, you qualify for tax increases.

Bethlehem, Northampton and other districts criticized in the audit stand their ground.

They claim they have done nothing wrong and are operating within the law. DeFour does not accuse them of doing anything illegal. He said the law needs to be changed to provide a clearer picture of the district’s assets.

What needs to change is the entire education funding system.

Homeowners don’t have to live under the threat of regular tax increases. In districts such as Allentown, taxes go up almost every year. We are long past finding alternative ways to fund public education. Property taxes should be abolished or made a fairly small part of the equation.

There was another recently issued government report, but it received less attention than the DeFour audit. It’s worth noting. Property tax debate.

Remember the State Legislature’s 2004 response to this issue?


by legalizing gamblingPennsylvania could reap hordes of tax dollars that could be used to ease its property tax burden, the public was told.

It was a big lie.

Property taxes continue to rise despite record amounts of dough being wagered at casinos, truck stops and online.

On January 18, the state Gaming Control Board announced that 2022 will be a “record year.” The amount spent on gambling has increased by nearly $500 million from 2021.

This generated record tax revenue of $2.1 billion, up from $1.9 billion in 2021.

“This is a great time to write an article on property tax relief,” a shrewd local resident pointed to me after reading about the windfall. “When the casino was proposed a few years ago, that was the plan.”

He’s not the only one worried about taxes.

Earlier this week, I wrote about three government reform bills that have stalled due to the Pennsylvania recession. Dysfunctional State Legislature Has Not Opened Yet one month a year. This got me a call from Will Klein.

“There should be four,” the elderly Klein told me. “Fourth, the school property tax exemption for senior housing. Politicians should step back and do something.”

Another person I spoke to recently said he never expected to see property tax reform in his lifetime. I told him that I didn’t expect that in my life either. And I he is 52 years old.

Why are you so pessimistic? Because every time legislators are presented with a proposal, they reject it.

The State Senate was dissolved just a few weeks ago.

When the senators were debating A Package of Constitutional AmendmentsDemocratic Northampton Senator Lisa Boscola, has proposed an amendment to end the school property tax on homes and farms in 2028.

Under her amendment, the state would each year provide each district with an amount equal to what it would have collected from property taxes on that date, less the district’s annual debt service.

Congress would have raised that money through a combination of sales and income taxes.

“For me, for all homeowners and farm owners in Pennsylvania, there is no higher priority than getting rid of the tall school property tax,” Boscola said in a statement at the time.

“It’s time to modernize how we pay for schools. We are all talking about how a student’s zip code should not determine the quality of a student’s education. The only way to fix it is if you have to.”

Her proposal was rejected in a partisan vote, with 27 Republicans saying no and 21 Democrats saying yes.

This should not be a partisan issue. Republicans also want reformThose calls are dishonest if they refuse to act.

Need another reason to be pessimistic?Well, last summer, state legislators and former governor Tom Wolfe conspired to divert hundreds of millions of dollars for property tax reliefso you can spend elsewhere.

It happened quietly during state budget negotiations. That’s when a lot of dishonest and unethical things happen because they’re easily overlooked in the legislative chaos that occurs during budget season.

Wake-up call Ford Turner should win an award. expose their wrongdoingIf you’re unfamiliar with their scheme, here’s a refresher.

In 2010, MPs legalized table games in casinos. The law mandated tax revenues from these gambling earnings go into the property tax relief fund if the state’s finances were so tight that at least he had a $750 million reserve. .

The state met that criteria with this year’s budget. This would have resulted in approximately $130 million in annual savings for several years of property tax relief.

But Democrat Wolfe and Republican legislative leaders changed the rules. They amended the law to allow tax revenue from table games to be used as needed by the state.

are you still angry? you need to Let your legislators know about it now.

Wake Up Call columnist Paul Mastic can be reached at 610-820-6582 or are you still mad? It’s time for Pennsylvania taxpayers to demand property tax relief – The Morning Call

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