Expanded sales tax is fairest approach
In response to Mary Young's and John D. Forester Jr.'s columns on property taxes ("Property taxes cause despair," Reading Eagle, May 17, and "Are Berks taxpayers out of step in state?" Reading Eagle, May 18, respectively): We can eliminate this onerous burden, beginning with school property taxes.
A high hurdle stands in our way: reaching consensus on how to generate the nearly $10 billion needed to replace school property taxes.
I agree with Rep. Samuel E. Rohrer that an expanded sales tax is the fairest and most economically sound approach. The chief obstacle in getting Rohrer's plan through the House is disagreement over which items should be exempt from the sales tax.
With each item exempted, the goal of eliminating the property tax without a painful tax shift gets further out of reach.
That's why Rohrer's most recently defeated plan increased the personal income tax by 0.85 percent, shifted the 6 percent hotel occupancy tax to schools and altered the 0.5 percent realty transfer tax.
The time has come for the General Assembly to refocus its effort to a simpler plan.
I look forward to working with Rohrer and others to achieve this goal once and for all.
State Sen. Mike Folmer,
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Folmer: Expand sales tax to eliminate property taxes
State Sen. Mike Folmer, a Republican who represents parts of Lebanon and Berks counties, submitted the following Letter to the Editor to the Reading Eagle. Folmer makes a good case for eliminating property taxes in favor of expanding the state sales tax.