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Lower Macungie Commissioner urges “Yes Vote” on Tuesday’s Referendum

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Question on the ballot next week that isn’t getting nearly enough media coverage. It’s pretty shocking (or perhaps not really…) The Morning Call did not do a piece on this. Please take the time to understand the vote and consider voting YES. The East Penn Dems have unfortunately taken a “vote no” position.

Letter to the Editor – Vote ‘yes’ on homestead tax referendum

 
Note: Lower Mac uses homestead today to the max allowed, in the LTE I outline how and why. My hope is that we would immediately use it to 100% if the referendum passes. My understanding is unlike a school district since we don’t need other replacement revenue streams (the reason is, we only use property tax to fund capital projects NOT general fund spending) we can utilize immediately after the state constitution is changed and not have to wait for enabling legislation.
If you have any questions on how and why we use homestead today, and why I support the constitutional change to allow 100% please let me know.

Consider sharing this LTE if you think property tax reform in PA is important. If you are a supporter of SB 76 many feel (including the Pennsylvania taxpayers cyber coalition) as though if this referendum fails, it will also kill that effort.

-Ron

 
 
 

On Tuesday, Pennsylvanians will have the opportunity to vote on a referendum to reform property taxes through the state’s homestead exclusion program.

This would enable municipalities to exclude up to 100 percent of the assessed value of a home from taxation. Essentially, property tax bills could be reduced to zero. Currently, the homestead exclusion is arbitrarily limited to 50 percent of median assessed property value.

Lower Macungie utilizes that maximum 50 percent homestead exclusion. This allows us to keep our low millage in place to collect revenue from impactful commercial land uses like warehouses and shopping centers while at the same time we can provide much needed tax relief to homeowners.

If the referendum and corresponding legislation is passed, Lower Macungie will be able to eliminate the entire residential property tax for every qualifying residential household.

Today, 1,100 of our lowest income households pay no property tax because of our use of homestead. That’s a good start but it’s my hope we can eliminate the property tax for all households. A “yes” vote would give us the local control to do just that.

Note, the referendum has bipartisan support across the aisle. This is a no-brainer. Please vote “yes” on Tuesday.

Ron Beitler

Lower Macungie Township

The writer is vice president of the Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners

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