Target: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett
Goal: Eliminate school property taxes in Pennsylvania
Every year, 10,000 families in Pennsylvania lose their homes because they can’t afford to pay the property tax. Pennsylvania has been considering getting rid of school property taxes for the benefit of both homeowners and public school students.
Over half of property taxes are used to fund public schools. This means that schools in wealthy areas are much better than schools in poor areas. Some schools in inner-city Philadelphia have leaking roofs, concrete floors, and no air conditioning. Getting rid of school property taxes would create a more equitable distribution of resources in schools.
Pennsylvania is known for having laws favorable to senior citizens, and getting rid of the school property tax would ensure that older people on a modest fixed income could keep their homes. The property tax is also unreliable, because it can fluctuate greatly as a neighborhood becomes more or less popular. This has been happening in the up-and-coming city of Philadelphia. Rents are also higher where there are high property taxes, because landlords use rent to pay them.
Over $10 billion is spent annually on Pennsylvania property taxes. A home that cost $200,000 to buy can cost $10,000 a year in property taxes in many areas. Eliminating the school property tax would cause only a 1% increase in sales and income taxes, costing taxpayers far less overall.
Please urge Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett to move the Property Tax Independence Act through the legislative process as quickly as possible.
Dear Mr. Corbett,
We are writing to ask you to support the Property Tax Independence Act. Every year, 10,000 Pennsylvanians lose their homes because they can’t pay the property taxes. This is a particular threat to senior citizens living on a fixed income. Pennsylvania is known as a hospitable state for older people, and this bill would ensure that they can keep their homes through retirement.
The school property tax also causes gross inequalities within the public school system. Wealthier areas with higher property taxes have much better schools than poorer areas. Eliminating the school property tax would ensure that school funding is spread in a more equitable way.
The sales tax increase would only increase by 1% if this bill was implemented, and the income tax would rise by less than 1%. Please move this bill through the system as quickly as you can so it can be voted on in the Senate.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Zane Hollingsworth via Flickr