SB 76: Time to get Crackin!

hb_sb_76_full_logoYesterday, I received a message from former Octorara Area School Director, John McCartney. He runs the Ches-Lan Anti School Tax Association (CLASTA), the Eastern Lancaster County/Western Chester County area group for the Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition. The PTCC serves as a taxpayer advocacy group, and represents a virtual community of thousands of taxpayers from throughout Pennsylvania who are concerned with school property tax and education finance reform.

McCartney, who had represented residents in Region 2 (Sadsbury Township-Lancaster County, and West Fallowfield Township), resigned because of family responsibilities in 2012. Hank Oleyniczak was appointed by the Board to server out the remainder of McCartney’s term.

Mr. McCartney asks everyone to call those Senators who have not signed on as co-sponsors of SB 76. Senators must hear from the voters. Moreover, he points out that the staff answering phone calls may say, “You should call the Senator of the district in which you live,” but that is an incorrect response. When the issue affects not only the constituents in the Senator’s district, but all Pennsylvanians, you have every right to call any and all legislators. Make sure to tell this to the one answering your call.

It’s important, when calling or emailing, make statements that “ring true.” Please, point out that homeowners are not the only ones that will benefit. All property owners will benefit.

In Pennsylvania, 80% of all business owners are “small businesses.” They will also reap the benefits of SB 76. Those business owners may then have more money to expand, rehire workers, and/or hire new employees. SB 76 creates opportunities for both businesses and job seekers. The more tax-friendly Pennsylvania becomes, the larger the tax base. SB 76 provides all these benefits, plus schools will be assured of operating costs… up to a point.

SB 76 puts the school districts on a budget. As it is, districts can simply spend money for whatever, and then increase taxes without any consideration for those who are expected to pay the bill.

All districts will receive 100% funding sufficient to meet all current financial obligations, with a dollar-for-dollar replacement of the eliminated property tax. However, in the future, every district will receive identical percentage annual base funding increases that will be limited to the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), effectively limiting annual school budget increases.

If a district desires additional revenue, they will have to present a no-exception ballot referendum to the voters of their district to raise additional revenue, using either an earned income tax or a personal income tax. However, property taxes will not be able to be re-instituted to raise revenue.

Shown below are the Senators who are not yet co-sponsors of SB 76. Also included are e-mail addresses (if available) and their Capitol office phone numbers. John McCartney asks everyone to contact those Senators in our own counties (Lancaster & Chester), then the surrounding counties (Dauphin, Delaware, Montgomery & York). If you are able, it would be most helpful to meet the goal if you would contact the remaining Senators also.

Blake, John	717-787-6481	Lackawana           
Corman, Jake						717-787-1377	Perry
Costa, Jay		717-787-7683	Allegheny
Farnese, Larry		717-787-5662	Philadelphia 
Gordner, John		717-787-8928	Dauphin
Greenleaf, Stewart		717-787-6599	Montgomery
Hughes, Vincent		717-787-7112	Montgomery 
Hutchinson, Scott					717-787-9684	Erie
Kitchen, Shirley		717-787-6735	Philadelphia
Leach, Daylin						717-787-5544	Delaware
McIlhinney, Chuck		717-787-7305	Montgomery
Pileggi, Dominic		717-787-4712	Chester                
Robbins, Robert D.					717-787-1322	Butler
Scarnati, Joseph		717-787-7084	Clearfield
Smith, Matt						717-787-5839	Allegheny
Stack, Michael		717-787-9608	Philadelphia
Tartaglione, Christine	717-787-1141	Philadelphia
Teplitz, Rob	717-787-6801	York
Tomlinson, Robert		717-787-5072	Bucks
Vance, Patricia			717-787-8524	York
Vogel, Elder						717-787-3076	Beaver
Vulakovich, Randy					717-787-6538	Butler
Washington, LeAnna		717-787-1427	Montgomery 
Williams, Anthony		717-787-5970	Delaware              
Yaw, Gene			717-787-3280	Union

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