A guest column today from David Baldinger of the Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition on the group's effort to get property tax elimination off the back burner in the state Legislature.
The Real Faces of the Issue
I recently came across a quote from former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner that truly describes the political situation in Harrisburg: "Politics is the only business where doing nothing other than making the other guy look bad is an acceptable outcome."
Gov. Warner's statement accurately describes the reason why the school property tax elimination issue continues in limbo in Harrisburg: self-serving political gamesmanship that ignores the needs of the people in favor of political gain. But if you're willing to participate, today's Action Item can be a great help in moving the property tax issue past the games and into the forefront of the Harrisburg agenda.
There have been recent announcements from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives where lawmakers tout their agenda for healthcare reform, energy reform, and leasing the Turnpike — all designed to grab headlines before the elections. But NOTHING is being said about property tax reform because NOTHING is being done about what is probably the most urgent issue facing Pennsylvanians today.
It's my opinion that many lawmakers tend to view these issues in the abstract, seeing them simply as pawns to be played on the chessboard of Harrisburg election year politics rather than considering how these problems affect the lives of the people that they supposedly represent.
It's time to show the lawmakers the REAL faces of the property tax issue to let them know how their political games affect the lives of REAL people!
The Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition and Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations are collecting real-life stories of folks who are in distress from relentlessly increasing school property taxes. These stories will be compiled into one document to be presented to legislative leaders and the governor as examples of how their procrastination on this issue is destroying the lives of Pennsylvania homeowners – both working families and retirees.
During the next few days PLEASE send a paragraph or two to the PTCC that tells how out-of-control school property taxes are affecting your and your family's quality of life. You may sign the letter if you choose or submit it anonymously, but please at least indicate your county of residence. If you have neighbors or friends who are experiencing financial difficulties because of the property tax problem, please have them send their stories as well.
Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org
The compilation as submitted to the lawmakers will be posted on the PTCC Web site when it's completed.