Say no to SB 76

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The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors is distributing brochures promoting the passage of Senate Bill 76 (SB 76). The brochures show an uncomplimentary picture of a senior citizen looking confused next to large type saying, “End school property taxes immediately and permanently,” and urging all to contact their state senator to support the bill.

What the brochure does not say can be found in the text summary of the proposed SB 76. The school property taxes would not be “eliminated immediately” as claimed by the brochure, but rather, a portion of the school property tax would be gradually phased out over several years. County and local property taxes would not change under the bill. However, the state personal income tax rate would immediately be increased by 40 percent. The state sales tax rate would be increased by 15 percent and expanded to cover almost all goods and services.

Those with good memories must know that no old tax is ever reduced or eliminated. New taxes are added, but the old ones remain. Consider the “temporary penny sales tax” of the early 1950s. The only thing temporary was the rate. More recently, taxpayers were promised that if an extra one percent were added to the local sales tax, part of the new revenue would be returned to municipalities to reduce local taxes. What happened? New borough buildings were built and new people were hired to fill them, and taxes increased. Of course, bringing in the casinos would allow the elimination of property taxes. But the casinos have created a great new government bureaucracy and property taxes are higher.

There may be immediate token reductions in school property taxes for special voting interests; however, after a few years the property taxes will be right back to the current or higher levels, as the unrestrained growth in contract and retirement costs for public workers continues and accelerates. Property taxes will never be eliminated. The government wants your real property. Incomes may come and go, but your real property will always have some value.

Remember this irrefutable law: No matter how much money you give government or quasi-government authorities, they will grow to spend it all, and still need a little more.

Say no thanks to the SB 76 expansion of taxes.

David Jacobs

Mt. Lebanon

Say no to SB 76

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Published Dec 18, 2013 at 5:42 am (Updated Dec 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm)

Say no to SB 76

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