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Pennsylvania Liberty Alliance Urges a “Yes” vote on Tuesday’s Referendum

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Hello,

On November 7th, Pennsylvanians will be voting on a property tax exclusion referendum.  Some people are not aware of this ballot question, and others are confused as to what the question is about.  The PA Liberty Alliance strongly recommends a YES vote.  Here is a short explanation and a little bit of history…

In 1998, the legislature enacted a “Homestead/Farmstead” exclusion that could have provided up to a 50% exclusion of the median assessed value of homestead/farmsteads (i.e. primary residences) within the taxing district.  In other words, this could have allowed a property tax reduction of approximately half the median property tax bill in the school district, county, or municipality.

Since then, this exclusion was not used for anything other than the small amount of gambling “relief”  that came years later.  In order for the exclusion to have reached the full 50% of median assessed value, the legislature would have had to pass legislation enabling that to happen.  They didn’t.

Now the voters will be voting on whether or not to raise the Homestead/Farmstead exclusion from the current 50% of median assessed value, to 100% of each individual Homestead/Farmstead’s assessed value.

So why would the legislature pass this Constitutional Amendment when they aren’t even funding the existing 50% exclusion?  And why would the PA Liberty Alliance recommend a YES vote?

After years of trying to pass HB/SB 76 to eliminate the school property tax for all properties in Pennsylvania, some legislators feel that it may be easier to first eliminate school property taxes for primary residences (Homesteads/Farmsteads) only in an effort to prevent struggling families and senior citizens from losing their homes at sheriff auctions, and also to give relief to many more who are being crushed by ever-increasing property taxes.

The PA Liberty Alliance still believes that HB/SB 76 is the best approach, as it completely changes the status-quo and would be an enormous benefit to our economy.  We do, however, recommend a YES vote for two reasons.

First, the Amendment itself doesn’t do anything to provide relief.  If the voters approve the ballot question, their property taxes will still be there the next day.  This initiative only allows for a future piece of legislation to reduce or eliminate property taxes, at which time the PA Liberty Alliance will support or oppose the bill(s). This amendment would simply allow for more future options.

Second, the legislators will treat this ballot question as a referendum on property tax elimination.  If the voters vote “no”, legislators and special interest groups who oppose property tax elimination will say that Pennsylvania residents don’t believe there is a property tax problem.

Regardless of the real reason you may have voted “no”, this will be the interpretation.  You don’t get to explain why you voted “no” and this will only serve to make our fight even more difficult.

If, however, the voters approve the ballot question, we now have much more leverage in getting something meaningful passed.  A “yes” vote will even aid us in our fight to pass SB76, even though it would not use the Homestead/Farmstead exclusion when signed into law.

The same special interest lobbying organizations who are opposing SB 76 are also ramping up their opposition to the ballot question.  This should send you a clear signal.  It boils down to this…

If you want to maintain the status-quo of ever-increasing property taxes and you don’t mind that this unfair tax is devastating hard working families and leaving up to 10,000/year homeless, then vote “no”.

If, however, you believe the property tax should be eliminated, or at a minimum needs some serious attention, then vote “yes” next Tuesday.

10,000+ folks lose their homes to the Sheriff yearly in PA…you can assist them and yourself!

Please consider chipping in $20, 40, 60, 100 or whatever you can afford to accomplish the passage of Property Tax Elimination! Advertisements, flyers, direct mail, townhalls and hall rentals are needed. More efforts are being planned statewide!

We also need to raise funds for special radio broadcasts we will air regionally. Go to http://palibertyalliance.org/ and click the link to donate on-line. You can also send a check to: PA Liberty Alliance, PO BOX 98, Bethel PA 19507

God bless us in the fight to pass Property Tax Elimination,  but WE MUST PUT FORTH THE EFFORT.

Thanks for your support this Tuesday, November 7th, Election Day!

Ron Boltz, President


PA Liberty Alliance

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