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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.

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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.


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PTCC Update

06 June 2011

Dear Friends,

As with the last PTCC Update in February, there is little definitive news to report on the property tax elimination movement. However, there has been much happening behind the scenes in Harrisburg in preparation for property tax legislation that will be introduced after the legislature’s summer recess.

Members of the General Assembly who are committed to property tax elimination have been working to build consensus around an elimination plan by conducting educational seminars about the issue and conferring with colleagues to gain their support.

The Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayers Associations (PCTA), our statewide umbrella organization, has responded to this activity by developing a blueprint for property tax elimination that is roughly based on the former School Property Tax Elimination Act (SPTEA) but has been simplified to remove many of the objections to the previous plan in an attempt to gain greater acceptance.

The PCTA School Property Tax Elimination Plan has been submitted to key legislators, to specific members the House GOP Policy Subcommittee on property taxes, and to General Assembly leadership and will likely be considered as a basic framework for upcoming legislation. The PCTA understands that the plan will be subject to change during the legislative process and we remain flexible and willing to work with the lawmakers provided that the final bill achieves our goal of total elimination of the school property tax.

The PCTA plan has been certified by Americans for Tax Reform as tax revenue neutral, which frees the Governor to sign the legislation without violating his “no new taxes” pledge, and to ensure financial viability has been vetted against actual and projected revenue and expenditure figures provided by the House Appropriations Committee.

The PTCC website has been fully updated with details of the PCTA Plan, including the plan document as submitted to the lawmakers and associated information that includes a PCTA position statement titled “Ten Reasons to Eliminate.” To become more familiar with the plan, see the details here. All of the new PCTA Plan information is available from the buttons in the left column of any PTCC webpage and includes downloadable PDF files of all documents. The “Quick Facts” and “Ten Reasons” papers are particularly helpful when spreading the word about elimination and the PCTA Plan. Please take the time to visit the website to review the new PCTA proposal.

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The PCTA Plan Presented

On Thursday, June 16, I’ll be giving a talk on property tax elimination and presenting the details of the PCTA School Property Tax Elimination Plan at the Berks County Patriots meeting. The BCP meetings are large and lively and this one will be no exception, with many property tax elimination advocates in attendance to learn about the plan and have their questions answered. We expect a number of lawmakers to make an appearance as well, so please plan to attend to demonstrate to them your support for school property tax elimination.

The BCP meeting begins at 6:30 PM at the Leesport Farmers Market in Leesport, PA, just a few miles north of Reading. Everyone is welcome, so please be there and bring a friend!

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My, how we’ve grown!

Since the last PTCC Update three months ago the PCTA has grown from 43 advocacy groups to an astonishing 60 diverse organizations statewide, all of which are united with the single common goal of eliminating the school property tax and stabilizing school funding. That’s almost 50% growth in a very short time, with more to come. We heartily welcome all of the new member groups and are grateful for their dedication to the cause.

You no doubt noticed the word “diverse” in the last paragraph. I specifically mentioned that because diversity is the key to our property tax elimination success. The onerous property tax that drives people from their homes and ravages family finances is not a problem confined to a specific political philosophy or age group or locale but is, instead, a PEOPLE problem that affects everyone. We need the involvement of as many folks as possible, regardless of their political or social status, to join the battle.

The Harrisburg lawmakers who attempt to justify their opposition to property tax elimination by employing class or political warfare have yet to learn this lesson. We are united in our effort; our diversity is our strength and together we WILL win this fight.

Please consider starting your own local group to help in the effort. It’s easy to do and the PCTA member groups will give you all the help you need to get up and running. Simply reply to this email or email from the link on any PTCC webpage.

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Stabilizing School Funding

The school funding problem is becoming ever more critical, with many districts across Pennsylvania suffering from funding deficits caused by assessment appeals.

The Reading Eagle a few weeks ago reported that an assessment appeal by a single nursing home in the Wyomissing School District could lead to a quarter-million dollar loss in revenue for the district.

But if that sounds scary, be grateful if you’re not a resident of the Upper Merion School District. The Norristown Times-Herald reported that an assessment appeal by GlaxoSmithKline, if granted, could force the school district to cut a property tax reimbursement check to them for as much as four million dollars. This lost revenue will have to be replaced by increasing property taxes for all residents.

One UMSD school board member said, “As a district, we’ve kept our expenses (at) less than 1 percent increase over the last couple years, but we’ve been getting killed on the revenue side because of the tax assessment appeals.”

This appalling scenario is playing out all over the state but could be stopped immediately with a show of determination and courage by the General Assembly. The enactment of the PCTA School Property Tax Elimination Plan would stabilize school funding and end this nightmare forever. This is just one of the reasons to abolish the school property tax as stated in the PCTA “Ten Reasons to Eliminate” document.

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We Need You!

Right now.

It’s only natural that some of you who have been with us in the property tax fight for many years have become cynical and disillusioned by the lack of action by the General Assembly on this critical issue. It’s understandable. But now, more than ever, is when we need your strength and tenacity.

Over the past few months many of the PCTA group leaders and I have been involved in discussions with lawmakers, political analysts, journalists and others about the property tax elimination problem. Literally all with whom we’ve spoken are in agreement that right now we are experiencing a “perfect storm” of political, financial, and social pressures that will force the property tax issue onto the front burner.

If we’re ever going to accomplish our goal, now is the time. In the coming weeks the PCTA will be rolling out initiatives to drive this issue into the consciousness of the Harrisburg politicians and we’ll need your participation. If you will, please respond to these action items when they’re sent to you and do what you can to help.

Here’s the first Action Item: forward this email right now, before you close this message, to as many people as possible on your Pennsylvania email list and ask them to subscribe to the PTCC Updates.

Become a champion for elimination and enlist the support of friends, neighbors, co-workers, and relatives and then ask them do them same.

Print out the PCTA Plan “Quick Facts” and “Ten Reasons” sheets from the website and give them to leaders of civic and business groups.

In other words, spread the word as widely as possible and help to build our base of support!

Right now.

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There’s just one more item. If you change your email address, please send me a short note with your old and new address. Every update we lose a few supporters who forget to do this, so your help would be appreciated.

That’s all for today. As always, my heartfelt thanks go out to all of you who are working to support this effort. Your help is truly appreciated.

Please feel free to write to me at any time with questions or concerns.

David Baldinger
PTCC Administrator