Thursday, November 01, 2007

Homeowners must push property tax elimination plan

David Baldinger of the Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition has put a call out to every Pennsylvania homeowner who wants to see an end to property taxes.

In order for the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007 to have any chance in the House, voters must put their representatives on notice. Join the effort to eliminate property taxes, or we eliminate your job.

That's the only message the career politicians in Harrisburg understand.

Here's some highlights from Baldinger's latest release:

"Our time has finally come! On Wednesday, Oct. 31, the authors of the bipartisan School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007 (SPTEA) and House members from both parties announced the introduction of this legislation at a Harrisburg press conference. Members of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations (PCTA), including myself, spoke in support of the SPTEA at the conference. A bill number will be assigned when the legislation is formally introduced.

We've been waiting a very long time for this event. Even though the bill is truly bipartisan and was continually revised during good faith negotiations with the Democratic House leadership (who determine the flow of legislation), they nonetheless continued to delay for many months on a commitment to support the SPTEA.

Now it is time to spring into action for all of us who support true education finance reform and school property tax elimination.

Before a bill is formally introduced in the House, a memorandum is sent to all Representatives asking them to co-sponsor the bill. Your participation is vitally needed for this first step in the legislative process. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.

Please call or e-mail your representative within the next day or so and tell him or her that you want them to co-sponsor the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007 as announced by Rep. Sam Rohrer. Let them know that this is the only property tax legislation that is acceptable to you and that you expect them to do their part in promoting its passage.

Beyond this initial step, further efforts need to be focused on three fronts.

First, we must show unequivocal support for the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007. Please frequently contact your Representative and House leadership of both parties by mail, e-mail, and telephone to voice your support for the SPTEA and to demand its passage.

Second, tell your representative that you strongly oppose the valueless House Bill 1600 and others like it. These worthless, politically-driven bills simply shift the funding from one pocket to another for temporary phantom "relief". They add new taxes on top of the old while doing nothing to permanently solve the underlying problems like relentlessly increasing property taxes, lack of effective cost controls, and substandard educational opportunities for children in over 100 distressed Pennsylvania school districts.

HB 1600 is being avidly promoted by certain House members to satisfy their political agendas. This bill is especially insulting to Pennsylvania homeowners because it is no different in substance than the Act 1 referendum that was so universally rejected by the voters in the May 2007 election. Even though the voters forcefully demonstrated their opposition to Act 1 these legislators still think that they can get away with regurgitating this idea, jamming it down our throats and then assuming that we will be stupid enough to fall for their lies and false promises. They must be told in no uncertain terms that they will be held accountable if they impose this smoke-and-mirrors scam on Pennsylvania homeowners. HB 1600 is the biggest threat to true education finance reform currently in the legislature and it MUST BE DEFEATED!

Third, we must inform as many folks as possible about the SPTEA to rally support for this legislation. Please tell everyone you know about the plan, ask them to visit the PTCC Web site for details and to subscribe to the PTCC e-mail updates. Grassroots efforts like ours can only succeed with the support and efforts of ordinary folks who want to help make a difference.

We must hammer our legislators at every turn to keep them moving in the right direction."

The Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition will be keeping track and publicizing the names of Pennsylvania Legislators who support taxpayers through school property tax elimination and those who ignores taxpayers' wishes by pandering to the special interests.

"We all must demand that this legislature stop deceiving taxpayers by placing ineffective Band-Aids like House Bill 1600 on this problem, set aside their business-as-usual partisan politics, forget the special interests, muster the courage and political will to do what is absolutely necessary, and give the people of Pennsylvania what they want and deserve: Enact the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007 NOW to totally eliminate school property taxes and fix a broken education finance system for the benefit and future of all taxpayers and children of Pennsylvania," Baldinger said.

It's time to put your legislator on notice. Support the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007 or you will vote them out in 2008.

You can find the name of your Representative by Zip+4 here:

Details of the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007 are here:

Details of HB 1600 from a previous PTCC update are here:

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