Upper St. Clair taxes oppressive

Published Apr 30, 2014 at 7:10 am (Updated Apr 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm)

I read with somewhat amused interest Ross A. Matlack’s letter to The Almanac on April 16. In that letter, Matlack tells all Upper St. Clair residents who dare to have the temerity to question USC’s taxing policy to abruptly, and in dire fashion, get themselves a “wake up” call. Well, Mr. Matlack, it is you who is in dire need of said call.

Twice previously, I have written to this paper to point out the ridiculous tax increases we as USC residents are constantly forced to accept, but once again I will oblige.

In 2008, USC real estate taxes stood at 2.6 mills. By 2010, the millage rate had risen to 4.6 mills. That is an incredible 76.9 percent increase, spread over two years, and at the height of the worst recession the country had experienced in decades. Now, the crime of usury is committed when anyone or any institution charges more than 25 percent interest on a loan, i.e., “loan sharking.” Yes, strictly speaking, real estate taxes are not the same as loans, but the corresponding interest rates and resultant payments do amount to the same thing. I do not suggest that USC is criminally accounting, only that the parallels between the two are inescapable, and quite disgusting.

But oppressive taxation most certainly does not end with real estate taxes. Twice in the last three years, USC has requested an exception to the state law in order to raise taxes higher than they are allowed to by law. In other words, they are seeking to simply disregard state law. Again! Does anyone besides me see a very distinct and discernible pattern here?

So, in closing, I invite you, Matlack, to stop being an uninformed outsider and buy a house in USC. Then, you can join me and my neighbors in the land of the never-ending tax increases (I’ve been here over 50 years). I look forward with great anticipation to your comments at that time.

Mike Salera

Upper St. Clair

USC taxes oppressive

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