Thursday, May 29, 2008


An interesting letter to the editor published in today's edition of The Mercury by one of my favorite letter-writers, John Swartley of Limerick. Mr. Swartley gives us a quick history lesson from the 1700s to Ed Rendell's reign as governor of Pennsylvania. Swartley also makes a convincing case that property taxes are nothing more than legalized "blackmail" by the government.

Read the full letter below:

Property taxes are 'blackmail'

The year was 1772 when my first ancestor, Johann, arrived at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia. The Reverend Henry Rosenberger paid 20 pounds and 10 shillings for his passage and in turn, Johann agreed to work three years on Rosenberger's farm. Johann's purpose in coming to America was to buy and own land to farm, which wasn't possible in Germany.

Owning land is a basic fundamental freedom and is what made America great. Somewhere along the way between now and then, the public school system was invented and since not everyone was in favor of paying for the system, politicians invented the property tax. This was the first major loss of freedom in America.

Of all the unconstitutional taxes imposed by politicians, this has to be the most heinous and disgraceful tax ever to be enacted because it's pure "blackmail." You pay up, regardless of your financial ability or out you go.

To make it even worse it's a graduated tax. This is the "jewel" of all taxes for the school system because it gives them a carte blanche to raise taxes every year. I know people who worked in the private sector who switched to teaching because of the guaranteed pay, wonderful benefits and retirement. The move had nothing to do with teaching, just money.

Property owners know by now that Governor Ed "Spendell" and his democratic pals aren't going to vote to repeal the tax because they've sold out to the unions and special interest groups. The way things look for property owners to get relief is to hire our own lobbyist and fight fire with fire, that is – we'll offer bigger bribes to our representatives than our competition does.

The following is a quote by Voltaire on money; "In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give it to the other."

I wonder if my ancestors would immigrate to America today knowing their land could be confiscated by the government.

To Mr. Rendell and his gang, I say: "Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus" (False in one thing, false in everything).


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