Dedicated To Equitable Tax Funding Of Pennsylvania Schools

Latest News

IMPORTANT! The short and long term impacts of enacting The Property Tax Independence Act. Click here.

A great piece from G. Terry Madonna and Michael Young. RIP: The School Property Tax! Click here.

We need property tax reform now! Speakers cheer on House, Senate bills 76. Click here.

Your home's equity is being stolen! How property taxes are reducing your home's value. Click here.

The brutality of tax eviction! A deputy sheriff speaks out. Click here.

The Real Faces of the Issue. Click here.

STAY INFORMED! Please Subscribe to free PTCC e-mail updates. Click here. (


Personal Property Tax Independence Act Tax Calculator
Excel calculator to see your tax savings under the provisions ofThe Property Tax Independence Act. Now includes calculations for Philadelphia property tax reduction!

The Property Tax Independence Act Petitions
Sign an individual petition to demonstrate your approval of the The Property Tax Independence Act or distribute a multi-signature petition to really gather support! Print extra copies for your friends, family, and neighbors so they can help, too! Download the petitions as PDF files here.

Why school property taxes need to be eliminated!
Two excellent essays on the fallacy of property taxes for education funding.


PTCC Archive

A printer-friendly version of this page in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format is available here.
To ensure proper printing, please use Acrobat's print icon instead of your browser's "Print" command.

07 January 2008

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year to all!

Since the legislature has not been in session for a few weeks there’s not much definitive information about the progress of HB 1275, the School Property Tax Elimination Act. However, there are some indications that we may soon see some action on property taxes in the House of Representatives.

HB 1275 now has 44 co-sponsors. The updated list is in the November 10 update here. If your representative is on this list you may want to thank him or her for sponsoring this legislation. If not, you should contact your representative to find out why they are not working for your interests. More on that later.

HB 1275 is now in the House Appropriations Committee; we expect the bill to be reported out of committee in the near future. We also expect floor debate on property taxes to begin sometime after January 14 since this issue should probably be settled prior to the governor’s February budget address. Of course, considering the legislature’s record on timeliness these projections are subject to change. But nonetheless this may or may not be our last opportunity to affect House passage of HB 1275 and we must act anyway to let the politicians know we are watching them.

First, letters to the editor of your local newspaper in support of the School Property Tax Elimination Act are always a good way to help to spread the word and apply pressure to politicians, so write one if you feel comfortable doing so. Second, frequent letters, phone calls, and e-mails to representatives are a MUST from as many of you as possible. Details are below.

Representative David Argall (Berks, Schuylkill), the Republican Caucus whip, is the only House leader who has signed on to HB 1275 and is actively promoting the bill. Republican leader Sam Smith (Armstrong, Indiana, Jefferson), Democratic leader William DeWeese (Fayette, Greene, Washington), and Democratic whip Keith McCall (Carbon) have not indicated that they will support HB 1275. This is unfortunate since the leadership of each party can have a huge influence over their members’ votes. Although the motives for their reluctance can only be assumed, these leaders need a stern admonition from each of us to let them know that we expect them to ignore the petty politics, be TRUE representatives of the people, and do what is right for the taxpayers of Pennsylvania. Their contact information is at the bottom of this update.

It is also VERY important that you contact your district’s representative during the next week to let him or her know that you expect them to support HB 1275 and that your vote and the votes of your friends in 2008 will be determined by their support of this legislation. To this point we’ve been respectful with these politicians in requesting their support but many have totally ignored our wishes. With their re-election coming up this year it is now time to play hardball. As Tony Phyrillas of the Pottstown Mercury recently said in his blog, “It's time to hold your representatives accountable. Make sure they hear from you and the message should be loud and clear: Eliminate property taxes now or voters will eliminate your job in 2008”. Well said, Tony! You can find contact information for your representative by Zip+4 here.

Remember, too, when you contact your representative that House Bill 1600 is still being considered. This bill is no different than the soundly defeated Act 1 tax shift referendum and will permanently raise both the sales and income taxes to finance a small property tax rebate (approximately $414) that will be quickly negated by relentlessly rising property taxes. This fraudulent, worthless legislation is nothing more than a tax increase in disguise and MUST BE DEFEATED! Be sure that your representative knows that you expect him or her to REJECT HB 1600. Further details about HB 1600 are available here.

One final note on HB 1275, the School Property Tax Elimination Act. It’s easy to tell the good guys from the self-serving members of the House of Representatives by their support for this bill. Unlike Act 1 - the property tax “relief” measure that benefits everyone EXCEPT the taxpayer by funding racing purses, jockey pensions, the Philadelphia Convention Center, and the Pittsburgh Penguins Arena - the School Property Tax Elimination Act is pure in that it benefits NO ONE but the people and schoolchildren of Pennsylvania. There is NOTHING in HB 1275 that favors the politicians or the special interests. HB 1275 is a remarkably honest piece of legislation and those legislators who support it are truly working for your interests.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

HB 1275 Objections Survey

Objections to HB 1275, the School Property Tax Elimination Act, have been raised by politicians and certain groups in Pennsylvania. The PTCC would like your opinion about these objections so we can show public attitude to counter them effectively. Please take a few moments to complete a short three question YES/NO survey about the issues. The survey is here. Below are the questions that are included in the survey:

1) The Tax Foundation ( has ranked Pennsylvania #47 for business property tax burden in its annual rating of business-friendly states. The School Property Tax Elimination Act (HB 1275) proposes to reduce business school property taxes by 50%; it is estimated that this will generate as many as 100,000 new jobs each year by attracting new business to Pennsylvania. Some House Democrats will not support HB 1275, calling this reduction “corporate welfare”.

Question: If school property taxes on your home are COMPLETELY ELIMINATED, do you object to the reduction of school property taxes for business by 50%?

2) The School Property Tax Elimination Act (HB 1275) is financed in part by expanding the current sales tax base to include more services such as architect’s fees, health club memberships, and lawyer’s fees. It has been reported that some lawyers are objecting to a sales tax on their services and are lobbying for the defeat of HB 1275.

Question: If school property taxes on your home are COMPLETELY ELIMINATED, do you object to the broadening of the sales tax base to include attorney’s fees?

3) Under the provisions of the School Property Tax Elimination Act (HB 1275), non-profit organizations will continue to be exempt from paying sales taxes on goods and services that they purchase. However, any goods or services sold by the organizations to consumers will be subject to sales tax in the same manner as commercial stores.

Question: If school property taxes on your home are COMPLETELY ELIMINATED, do you object to paying sales tax on goods sold by non-profit organizations?

Besides the YES/NO questions in the survey, it would be appreciated if you would add your comments about these issues on the PTCC blog for all to read at: or e-mail them to Any personal information that you choose to submit will remain confidential but survey results and anonymous quotes may be sent to politicians by the PTCC to show support for HB 1275.

Please help. Your participation in this survey will be greatly appreciated.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In closing, I want to thank all of you for your continuing support of our efforts to achieve honest, equitable school finance reform. Please work to enlist the help of your family, friends, and neighbors in this campaign so we can have an even larger base of support for the benefit of all Pennsylvania taxpayers and schoolchildren. Please forward this e-mail to as many folks as possible! The more hands, the better!

Your questions and concerns are always welcome – please write to me at

David Baldinger
PTCC Administrator

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Republican Caucus Leader:
Hon. Samuel H. Smith
527 East Mahoning Street
Punxsutawney, PA 15767
(814) 938-4225
Fax: (814) 938-1950
Armstrong, Indiana, Jefferson

Democratic Caucus Leader:
Hon. H. William DeWeese
222 Elm Drive
Suite 101, P.O. Box 832
Waynesburg, PA 15370
(724) 627-8683
Fax: (724) 627-6043
Fayette, Greene, Washington

Democratic Caucus Whip:
Hon. Keith R. McCall
162 West Ridge Street
Lansford, PA 18232
(570) 645-7585
Fax: (570) 645-9526