IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT THE STOP PLAN
Please share this with everyone you can by forwarding this E-mail, printing and mailing this article, or posting it on bulletin boards, etc.
As our STOP Property Tax Abolishment Legislation is being reintroduced in the PA House and Senate, it is important to understand what is being done and why.
Question: Why do we need a constitutional amendment to abolish all property taxes on primary residences?
Answer: The PA Constitution allows only a 50% difference between taxation on various types of property. In other words, primary residences (homesteads\farmsteads) can only be taxed at a rate 50% lower than industrial\commercial properties.
Question: What will the STOP constitutional amendment do?
Answer: It would change the constitution to allow primary residences (homesteads\farmsteads)to be taxed at 0%, without changing how industrial and commercial properties may be taxed. It would prohibit school districts, counties and municipalities from imposing a property tax on primary residences (homesteads\farmsteads.)
Question: Are there advantages to abolishing property taxes via constitutional amendment?
Answer: Yes. If all property taxes on primary residences are outlawed via constitutional amendment, property taxes could never be revived by a future legislature and governor, without first amending the constitution again. And the citizens have the final vote. It is your protection that once all property taxes are abolished on primary residences via constitutional amendment, it is very unlikely they could ever be revived.
Question: How is a constitutional amendment enacted?
Answer: The proposed amendment must be passed during two separate, two-year legislative sessions by the PA House and Senate If it were passed by the legislature during the current 2007-2008 session, it could then be passed in early 2009 and put on the ballot for the voters in the November election in 2009.
Question: Is there such a thing as an EMERGENCY amendment.
Answer: Yes, the constitution does allow for emergency amendments which require just one passage by the legislature before the emergency amendment goes to a public referendum. The constitution does NOT define an emergency. We believe the loss of tens of thousands of homes every year to a highly inaccurate assessment and property tax system; the theft of the `delinquent' owners' equity far beyond their debt to society; and the disruption of the lives of tens of thousands of our citizens constitutes an emergency.
Please share this with everyone on your E-mail list. Post it on online bulletin boards. Print it and pass it out to friends and relatives.
It is essential that as many Pennsylvania citizens as possible be aware of this vital information. –Bob Logue, STOP Primary Residence Protection Plan. Learn more at www.grandoldusa.com and on the STOP Page at www.spedunkie.com
- Joe Lehigh County says :
- While we wait for our elected representatives to eliminate property taxes, I will once again offer information that will possibly provide for other options. It is unfortunate that I am the only one providing options (ie. Auto Insurance, Home Owners Insurance).
In a recent article, it was noted that Michigan had replaced school property tax, with a 2% state sales tax. I was prompted to search the web for states having the lowest and highest property tax. As of 12/28/06 per the Census Bureau, and Tax Foundation, the results are as follows:
Lowest Property Tax
State................Median Property Tax
Highest Property Tax
State................Median Property Tax
Upon further investigation, 18 of the highest taxed 20 counties, exist in New Jersey and New York. Why would our legislators even want to change our current tax system, knowing that two bordering states have the highest property taxes in the country? The question I would like answered is as follows: Would it be better to relocate to West Virginia or Kentucky?
- Joe Lehigh County: 8-5-07 says :
- It is time to exercise the brain. Back in July, I stated that I received an e-mail from Senator Logan. Carl Miller questioned whether or not one of his staff members had responded instead. On July 18th, I received another email from Senator Logan. The Senator wrote the following: "Several folks have called and sent emails about some confusion on the STOP web-site. I guess the debate is whether I personally am answering emails or a staff member. It is me personally. If folks do not believe that, I can't help that. I refuse to debate this on a blog. If someone wants to call and talk to me personally, then they can call my office at 412-380-2242.
Has anyone saved a buck or two on their auto or homeowners insurance? I guess it does not matter if the government, or the insurance companies are taking your money, or does it!
- Carl F. Miller says :
- August 9, 2007
To: Joe Lehigh:
Joe, I came across your August 5th, 2007 message posted on this page relative to whether or not Senator Logan is personally responding to Email messages sent to him. And although I don't bother much anymore with this STOP stuff, I thought I would offer a few comments on your message.
You say that on July 18th you received (another) email from Senator Logan? in which he? assured you that it was indeed he who was answering (your) emails, and that those who did not believe it, could call his office and talk to him personally. Try it, and then post your comments on this page.
Joe, in twenty-five years of my trying to telephone the offices and talk personally with any Senator or Representative in the General Assembly, I have never once, been successful; never once! Their system of gatekeeping precludes constituents from speaking with them directly (if, in fact, they want to speak with constituents at all).
The Senator says that he refuses to debate this (the issue of whether he is personally answering constituent Email messages) on a blog. And that's his prerogative. What confuses me, however, is that he urges anyone who wishes to speak with him personally to call his office? I have no doubt that if you were to call his office, you would indeed speak with someone, and not to sound overly cynical, that person may say it's the Senator who is speaking, and it may very well be the Senator, but "How would you know that for sure?"
Several years ago, I attended a STOP Town Meeting at which Senator Logan was present. And although I did not speak with him, I recognized that it was indeed him. I sensed that he was honest and sincere in his responses to concerned citizens' questions regarding property taxes, and at that time, he gave me no reason to believe otherwise. And as evidenced by his once again introducing SB717 & SB718, I tend to believe he is still honest and sincere in his efforts. I favor the Town Meeting concept, because it accords to every interested citizen the opportunity to speak with their elected representative in person; if they should so desire.
Finally, I'm encouraged that you believe you have received "personal responses" from Senator Logan, and I will not attempt to convince you otherwise. I simply want to let you know that in the past two weeks, I've sent six (6) Email messages to Senator Logan, as well as to Senator Jane Orie. Neither has thought it appropriate to respond!
Please continue your efforts to have abolished the heinous property tax scheme that's destroying the lives of thousands of Pennsylvanians every day. How much longer citizens are expected to wait, and how many more citizens will lose their homes to the tax collectors; is anybody's guess. The procrastination and indifference of these politicians reminds me of what William Cowper said in the 1700s "They blame and protest, but join in the plan; they share in the plunder, but pity the man." Most appropriate words, especially for the slow-moving, complacent politicians masquerading as public servants in Harrisburg.
Please take care,
Carl F. Miller
P.S. Joe, you may want to try and contact
Russ Diamond and Gene Stilp who both reside
in the Harrisburg area. As you may already
know, Russ Diamond was the driving force
behind the ouster of approximately 57
politicians and a judge (Nigro) during the
2005 elections who tried to sneak
themselves a pay raise in 2005.
Also, you may want to let your friends
and neighbors know that that icon of
honesty and integrity, Mike Veon, Beaver
County, (He was the only politician who
voted against repealing the sneaky pay
raise), has been hired as a lobbyist by
Pittsburgh National Bank (PNC), as well as
by 25 other companies. You might want to
encourage your friends to "CLOSE" their
accounts at PNC. It'd be another great way
to show PNC bigwigs that citizens are
One more thing. Guess what Veon is
racking in now in the way of his pension:
$50,000 BIG ONES A YEAR! Public Service
is one helluva career, ain't it!
- Joe Lehigh County: 8-10-07 says :
- Thanks Carl for responding. I here you loud and clear. Senator Patrick Browne provides his constituents with telephone appointments. I have spoken with him on several occasions. In fact, I voted for him in the last election because of this practice. I know believe the telephone appointment is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. The reason for this belief is because the Senator does not follow-up. I contacted the Senator's office yesterday, and Mike stated that I will know within two weeks whether or not the Senator supports the STOP Plan. Lets see what happens!
- Carl F. Miller says :
- August 10, 2007
Dear Joe Lehigh:
Thanks for responding to my August 9, 2007 posting. Not surprisingly,in your message you point out yet another "gimmick" being used by politicians to evade and ignore the inquiries of their constituents---"Telephone Appointments?" What will they think of next?
Joe, while I'm not actively involved in the STOP movement any longer, I still get questions from citizens in my communities as to the status of the campaign. Unfortunately, about all I can tell them is that the STOP thing has come to a virtual standstill. They always ask about the number of signatures on the STOP petition, and all I can tell them is that it appears as though that campaign has fizzled out, as well. According to the information posted on the STOP website, the number of signatures on the petition has remained at approxiamtely 118,369 for many months. I don't specifically know why this has happened, but it has, and I have no doubt that the politicians have taken notice of the stagnation and disinterest exhibited by STOP supporters.
As you may know, when Senator Logan introduced SB717 and SB718 in 2003 or 2004, twenty-one (21) Senators voted in favor of them. In reviewing Senator Logan's most recent re-introduction of those two (2) bills, it is discouraging to see that only a few Senators have openly expressed co-sponsorship of them. And although someone has posted a listing of the politiicans who are supposedly supporting the two (2) bills; that listing is grossly outdated. For example, Allen Kukovich's name is still listed, even though he was defeated by Robert Regola in the last election and no longer is serving in the Senate of the General Assmebly. The listing is so outdated that it cannot be relied on to present an accurate accounting of those who are currently supporting proposed legislation introduced by Senator Logan or Representative Marc Gergely. I've brought these inaccuracies to the attention of a Crissy Miller, who apparently is some kind of administrator for the STOP website, but to no avail. The inaccuracies and outdate listings remain. I've tried to inform that person of other inaccuracies also, but to my chagrin, my messages were returned. I've since learned that I have been "blacklisted" and am no longer able to express my views to STOP leaders? So someone within the STOP movement (and I have no doubt who it is) apparently does not like what I have to say, or the way I say it; as it regards my personal views about the management of the STOP movement or about certain politicians. And that's one of the reasons I've distanced myself from the STOP movement.
As for the many inaccuracies/outdated information currently posted on the STOP website, I suggest that someone attempt to notify whoever is responsible for them and request that that information be up-dated. Posting incorrect and inaccurate information is a sure sign of the incompetence and carelessness of STOP leaders. This obvious deficiency has to be corrected; and corrected fast!
As for the STOP petition drive, and in an effort to revive it, you may want to print out a copy of it and make additional copies and hand them out to others to go out and obtain signatures. I do not see anyone involved in the STOP movement suggesting a revival of the STOP petition drive. Politicians notice that too!
Joe, stay on the backs of your local politicians. Insist that they do something to abolish property taxes in Pennsylvania; especially those on our homes! Demand (As I have many times to Logan and Orie and others) that they introduce legislation to impose an "immediate moratorium" on ALL sheriff's sales of a citizen's home because of delinquent property taxes! If these politicians are sincere about protecting a citizen's home (which I am convinced they are not), an "immediate moratorium" would do it. But, and as I've said to them on numerous occasions "They are NOT serious or sincere about protecting our homes." "They continue to fiddle while thousands of citizens continue to burn." I say it's time to put their asses to the FIRE! What say You?
Thanks for your response, Joe, and keep on truckin.
Carl F. Miller
- Scott Bannon says :
- This isn't a comment on any specific points that have been made here, nor an attempt to change anyone's opinions on specific politicians. We all want face time with the elected officials who represent us when working towards a goal, such as eliminating property taxes, but I'd hate to think that any STOP supporters are being discouraged when their letters or calls are addressed by a politician's aid rather than the politician themselves.
I've had interactions with elected officials on the local, state and federal level in the past for various issues and dealings, and if I've learned anything it is that you're just as well off--and often better off--to get the ear and support of their aids and staffers as you are to get the actual politician's.
Politicians, just like a business owner, rely heavily on the opinions of the people working for them, and if you gain the support for your cause from an aid they can, in effect, become a lobbyist to their boss on your behalf.
That aid or staffer--if they come to support the STOP effort--can do more good for STOP on a continuing day-to-day basis of having the politician's ear than any of us could ever do with one or two meetings and conversations.
- PefeMighPag says :
- I'm new here, just wanted to say hello and introduce myself.
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