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Tax ‘relief’

Tribune-Review
| Monday, February 5, 2007 12:00 a.m

Act 1 of 2006 is a lie.

Pennsylvanians are expected to receive slots revenues applied against property taxes. What they will not receive, however, is effective control over school spending. That’s the key to true property tax reform.

The governor, Legislature and the public education kleptocracy want you to believe the public’s getting a break. It isn’t.

Much of any drop in school property taxes would be from shifting the burden from property to the earned income tax. But the districts could go further, adding to the tax base interest, dividends, capital gains, rents and even gambling winnings.

There will be voter referendums in May on tax shifting, except for Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Scranton. But whatever the voters do, expect that, in the long term, the tax bite will increase in excess of population and economic growth.

Grant Gulibon, author of a report posted on the Commonwealth Foundation’s Web site, exposes the sham:

Act 1 provides for voter referendums on school district property tax increases — but only if they exceed an index that ranges from 3.4 percent to 5.5 percent. In addition, there are 10 spending exemptions that are not included under the tax increase index.

Mr. Gulibon summarizes:

“… (T)he legislation is riddled with exemptions for school districts to circumvent taxpayer approval and continue raising taxes.”

In the long term, Act 1 will be no relief at all.

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