From Hope and Expectation to Disappointment and Betrayal!
Late last night a Historic Vote took place in the PA Senate. The Senate voted on Elimination of School Property Taxes. This has never happened before. It shows how far we have come.
We were rather confident. We thought we knew who was going to vote and how, based on what they have been saying. As the vote went on, we became concerned. After all 48 Senators voted, the vote was tied — 24 to 24. Lt Governor Mike Stack, acting as President, then cast the deciding vote. A yes vote and School Property Tax Elimination would pass. A no vote, you keep paying School Property Taxes. They increase greater than inflation. Foreclosures would continue and Seniors and those on low income would have less to live on.
Lt Governor Mike Stack, voted NO!! He laughed like a giddy school girl. He apparently thinks that people losing their homes is a laughing matter. Earlier in the day, Governor Wolf came out against the plan, calling it a “distraction”. Final vote — 24 YES 25 NO School Property Tax Elimination was defeated. Think about Lt Governor Mike Stack and Governor Wolf and others when you pay your School Property Taxes the next three years.
There were several betrayals. I will only mention one at this time. Senator Majority Leader Jake Corman led us to believe he supported this legislation. He caved to special interests that have the money and voted NO!! Possibly more to follow on him and others that betrayed you, me, and all Pennsylvanians.
Do not give up hope. You got us this far. The fight is not over, it just got harder. We need to change the playing field. The fight to eliminate this unfair and antiquated School Property Tax system has been going on for a long time and we plan to continue it. We will keep you up to date.
The following is how the Senators voted:
SB/HB 76 Property Tax Elimination in Jeopardy
Ladies, Gentlemen, SB 76 supporters, and even those opposed to SB76:
A lot has been happening in Harrisburg, and we are about to be screwed
royally. I apologize in advance for the crude nature of this Email, but I
have no time for niceties right now…
It appears that my earlier prediction of getting a vote on SB 76 as a “show”
vote may come to fruition. However, it seems as though the “fix” is in on
the budget. I know this because I heard it straight from a representative
this evening, and then saw a news report that mentioned the same details
that the representative spoke of.
So here’s the deal…They are planning to raise the sales tax to to
7.25%….a full .25% MORE than what SB 76 would raise it, but rather than
complete elimination, you will only get $2 Billion back toward “relief”.
Actually, you only get $1.4 Billion back, because $600 Million of that goes
to replace the CURRENT gambling revenue that is used for the
Homestead/Farmstead reduction. The slots money that is currently going to
“relief” will be diverted to the grow general fund.
Since it takes $12 Billion to completely replace the school property tax,
the $1.4 Billion will give you less than a 12% reduction in your property
tax. There is no permanent cap on the property tax being mentioned, so your
property taxes will continue to grow beyond current levels, with an
increased sales tax on top of it. That’s assuming they will reapply the
money evenly, and not redistribute the wealth to the inner cities and other
places of Wolf’s choice. I wouldn’t place any bets on that, so a 12%
reduction is probably the best case scenario in most districts. You will get
about twice what you currently get in the Homestead/Farmstead exclusion,
which isn’t much. Most homeowners will get a few hundred bucks in return
for a 7.25% sales tax rate. Pretty rotten deal if you ask me.
They claim this isn’t a done deal yet, but it appears as though it is. We
CANNOT allow this to happen. Even if you’re not an SB 76 supporter, you
should be OUTRAGED. This is a TAX INCREASE.
Where is the Chamber of Commerce now?? Where is Americans for Prosperity??
Where is the Commonwealth Foundation?? Where is Mike Turzai?? They ALL
opposed total property tax elimination, and they all claimed that the
increased sales tax would hurt Pennsylvania businesses. Am I to assume that
they now think it’s O.K. to raise the sales tax even MORE than SB 76 did
while giving just a pittance back to the taxpayers rather than the full
elimination that SB 76 provided?? We’ll have to wait and see…
We have said REPEATEDLY that we will see some type of property tax bill
passed. We have said that even those who oppose SB 76 should get on board
because they won’t like the alternative that the general assembly comes up
with. So here we are. We have a choice to make. The next few weeks will
be crucial to stop this train wreck. GET INVOLVED NOW.
Check the link below for a news story from Channel 8.
**** PLEASE SHARE THIS! ****
From a news piece on WTAE-TV:
“One new idea under discussion could provide a cornerstone of the cash Wolf
is seeking: diverting the roughly $600 million in slot-machine gambling
receipts that school districts currently pass along to homeowners as
property tax reductions. That stream of money would shift to the state
treasury, while negotiators are discussing an increase in the state sales
tax to offset reductions in local school property taxes, another concept
that is important to Wolf to improve equity in school funding. The new money
from a higher state sales tax would replace the diverted slot-machine
dollars to schools – and then some.”
The problem here is not the loss of gambling revenues but the increase in
the sales tax to replace them. If the sales tax is increased for this
purpose it will kill the HB/SB 76 funding stream and elimination will be
dead forever. We will, instead, be given another half-baked “relief”
This plan will be discussed in Harrisburg on Monday and it is URGENT that we
do all that is possible to kill it. PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE
IMMEDIATELY TO TELL HIM OR HER THAT ANY INCREASE IN THE SALES TAX THAT DOES
NOT RESULT IN ELIMINATION IS UNACCEPTABLE.
In addition, call House Majority Leader Dave Reed, (717) 705-7173, and
Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, (717) 787-1377, with the same message:
ANY INCREASE IN THE SALES TAX WITHOUT ELIMINATION IS UNACCEPTABLE! DO IT NOW
AND PLEASE TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW TO DO THE SAME.