I don’t recall ever hearing a firefighter telling people how brave or important he or she was ... or I didn’t until now. Dan Miller, a candidate for the PA State House of Representatives in the 42nd district, has now circulated several pieces of campaign literature featuring pictures of his uniform and fire helmet, and referencing his “decorated firefighter” status. All of New York City’s finest together, with their unparalleled heroism after 9-11, have not boasted as much as Mr. Miller has. Rather, they downplay their outstanding efforts by stating that they were “just doing their job.” They did, and God bless them! They are more concerned with the important and dangerous work they do than political grandstanding. Mr. Miller should take note. Boastful arrogance will not build consensus or get things done in Harrisburg.
T. Michael Brown
I love this time of year. Along with flowers, signs pop up like lilies along the roads, with names we hardly recognize, seeking our vote.
As I think about the years gone by, I can’t help wondering why some things have been on the table for so long without a resolution. One such problem was, and still is, property taxes.
This was a hot item in 1973. Our legislators were pushing a bill to reduce the rate of property taxes by increasing the rate of the earned income tax, which has always been one percent on wages and profits since the tax was enacted in the late 1940s. Forty years ago, when wages seemed to be growing and homes were aging with retiring owners, the best tax base was for the employed to pay more in support of local services and education. But then came the realization that real estate lasts longer than an individual’s ability to earn income due to disability, retirement, layoffs or death.
The issue of local taxation had been beaten to death until, around 2000, there was a demand for slot machines in Pennsylvania with the accompanying suggestion that the profits from gambling would reduce or eliminate property taxes. Many people worked hard to encourage our governor and legislators to look beyond their noses and give property owners of this state the relief they had been searching for since the 1970s.
Before the first dollar was made, an appointed committee set the stage on how slot revenues could be used to support schools. This committee, with paid members, found reasons to let other needs claim a portion of these revenues. Now, property owners, not business owners, find their annual school taxes reduced by such a small fraction you can hardly recognize the savings.
Taxpayers in Washington County are going to face a reassessment one of these years. As was the case in 1973, real estate is much more stable than taxpayer income. While we have to appreciate all those who play the slots, one has to be honest – we didn’t get all the revenue we thought we would get. So much money is filtering through Harrisburg, and the taxpayers continue to dream. From blinking lights to Marcellus Shale “pipe dreams,” will property taxes ever be eliminated?
A recent letter to the editor regarding sex education in Peters Township and rudeness was enlightening, only in regards to the mindset of the individual who wrote it.
Apparently questioning what is taught to our children in government run schools is considered rude. How dare someone look into what our children are taught. Our betters have looked into this and have decided for us what is to be taught, and who is to teach it. Nothing to see here, just sit down and shut up.
This attitude is pervasive in our public and political discourse, and unfortunately Peters Township is no different from much of the rest country in this regard. However, as our culture continues to decay, more and more people are willing to stand up and question our �leaders.� It is the American thing to do.