The Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations
for equitable education funding reform
On August 19, 2007, member groups of the Pennsylvania Coalition
of Taxpayer Associations met in Sadsbury Township to approve a resolution
supporting the School Property Tax Elimination Act. This resolution was
presented to the Legislature and Governor Rendell for their consideration.
The resolution is below.
PENNSYLVANIA COALITION OF TAXPAYER ASSOCIATIONS
SCHOOL PROPERTY TAX ELIMINATION ACT OF 2007
WHEREAS, Act 50, Act 72, and Act 1 did not represent property tax reform and were all soundly rejected by taxpayers across Pennsylvania, and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania taxpayers demand that the Legislature enact true property tax reform, and
WHEREAS, the tax burden to fund Pennsylvania's public schools is not distributed equally and fairly resulting in senior citizens and other taxpayers losing their homes to sheriff sales and farms being sold for development due to the financial burden of school property tax, and
WHEREAS, the current system for funding Pennsylvania's public schools creates inequity between districts and unfair and unacceptable differences in curricula and educational outcomes, and
WHEREAS, Act 50, Act 72, and Act 1 focused more on revenue shifting as opposed to cost control, and failed to alleviate the financial burden on property owners, failed to solve the inequity in funding school districts, and failed to solve the escalating cost of public education, and
WHEREAS, the only viable and financially sound solution that provides true property tax reform, equitable funding for public schools and cost control is The School Property Tax Elimination Act of2007, formerly known as The Plan For Pennsylvania's Future, and
WHEREAS, additional benefits from The School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007 will stimulate the economy, create jobs, and facilitate true regional planning between municipalities by eliminating the battle for school property tax revenue,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT
RESOLVED, that the undersigned leaders of taxpayer associations on behalf of their memberships across Pennsylvania, by their signatures, demand that the Legislature seize this opportunity to finally solve public school funding and immediately enact The School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007,
Signed this 19th day of August in the year 2007
OF TAXPAYER ASSOCIATIONS
REPEAL OF ACT 1 AND
ENACTMENT OF TRUE PROPERTY TAX REFORM
WHEREAS, the Pennsylvania Legislature is unable to carry out its Constitutional responsibilities and is crippling school districts and property owners through its inaction on property tax reform, and
WHEREAS, Act 1 does not provide property tax reform, and
WHEREAS, the disproportionate rebates that may become available under Act 1 are distributed in a discriminatory manner by favoring property owners with low school property tax bills and are not distributed equitably within or among school districts, and in fact favor major cities over the balance of the state, and
WHEREAS, the shift to a higher local earned income tax under Act 1 in exchange for an offsetting reduction in property tax is not tax reform and does not solve inequitable funding across all school districts, and
WHEREAS, stressed school districts that have insufficient assessed value to support education also lack a sufficient earned income base, rendering the shift to local earned income tax useless in solving funding inequities, and
WHEREAS, Act 1 exacerbates funding inequities, as any rebates that may become available, plus a shift in local income tax, if approved, result in the greatest reductions provided to school districts where the tax burden is the least and the smallest reductions provided to districts where the tax burden is the greatest, and
WHEREAS, local school boards lack expertise in controlling budgets and negotiating with unions, resulting in a rapid escalation of property taxes oftentimes at 3 or 4 times the increase in the cost of living, forcing property owners out of their homes, and
WHEREAS, the backend referendum provision under Act 1 has been rendered useless by the same exceptions demonstrated under Act 72 to be totally ineffective, thereby providing no control over annual school budgets to the taxpayer.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT
RESOLVED, that the undersigned leaders of taxpayer associations on behalf of their memberships across Pennsylvania, by their signatures, DEMAND that the Legislature
immediately repeal Act 1, and be it further
RESOLVED, that the undersigned leaders of taxpayer associations and their members DEMAND the Legislature IMMEDIATELY begin working on true property tax reform.
Signed this 21st day of July in the year 2006.