STOP TESTIMONY BEFORE THE HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE
CHAIRMAN LEVDANSKY, COMMITTEE MEMBERS, I COME TO YOU ON BEHALF OF 118,410 CITIZENS WHO SIGNED STOP PETITIONS SEEKING THE ABOLISHMENT OF ALL PROPERTY TAXES ON PRIMARY RESIDENCES. MY NAME IS BOB LOGUE...JUST ONE OF THE THOUSANDS OF COMMON CITIZENS WHO HAVE OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS PLAYED AN ACTIVE ROLE IN THIS GRASSROOTS EFFORT TO ONCE AND FOR ALL ABOLISH THIS HORRIDLY INACCURATE, UNFAIR AND UNJUST TAXING SYSTEM.
WE BEGAN WITH PETITIONS, JUST TO DETERMINE WHETHER THERE WAS SUFFICIENT SUPPORT FOR SUCH AN EFFORT. WE HAVE NO BUDGET, NO STAFF JUST VOLUNTEER CITIZENS WHO COPIED AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE, CIRCULATED AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE AND RETURNED TO US AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE PETITIONS FROM ALL AROUND THE STATE. IN ABOUT THREE MONTHS WE HAD 40,000 SIGNATURES ...AND IT EVENTUALLY GREW TO THE 118,410 SIGNATURES I MENTIONED BEFORE.
WE SECURED THE BEST STATISTICS WE COULD FIND AND FORMULATED A PLAN FOR THE TOTAL ABOLISHMENT OF ALL PROPERTY TAXES ON PRIMARY RESIDENCES. SCHOOL, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL. SENATOR SEAN LOGAN WROTE OUR LEGISLATION AND INTRODUCED IT IN THE SENATE IN 2003, AND REP. MARC GERGELY INTRODUCED OUR LEGISLATION IN THE HOUSE IN 2003. UNFORTUNATELY THE MAJORITY PARTY AT THE TIME REFUSED TO PERMIT IT TO EVEN BE DISCUSSED DESPITE OUR LEGISLATION HAVING 64 LEGISLATORS AS BI-PARTISAN CO-SPONSORS IN THE TWO HOUSES.
NOT WANTING TO BE A GROUP SIMPLY ASKING FOR ABOLISHMENT OF A TAX, WE ALSO OFFERED IDEAS ON HOW TO REPLACE THE LOST REVENUE.
WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED OVER THIS PAST FIVE YEARS SINCE OUR MOVEMENT BEGAN HAS SOLIDIFIED OUR BELIEF THAT REAL ESTATE PROPERTY TAXES DESERVE TO BE DUMPED ON THE SAME TRASH HEAP OF SOCIETY ON WHICH SLAVERY, INDENTURED SERVANTS AND DEBTORS PRISONS HAVE BEEN DUMPED.
PROPERTY TAXES ARE BASED ON PROPERTY ASSESSMENTS. HOW MUCH IS A PROPERTY WORTH. ACCORDING TO THE PENNSYLVANIA TAX EQUALIZATION BOARD, PROPERTY ASSESSMENTS IN EVERY COUNTY IN THE COMMONWEALTH ARE WRONG. IN YOUR PACKET YOU WILL SEE JUST HOW WRONG THEY ARE AS I HAVE PROVIDED YOU WITH A LOST OF THE VARIANCES IN PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENTS IN EVERY COUNTY. LISTEN TO JUST A FEW EXAMPLES OF THE VARIANCES IN A FEW OF OUR COUNTIES.
NOT ONE COUNTY IS NEAR THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ASSESSMENT OFFICERS FIGURE OF 10%. THE IAAO SAYS IF THE VARIANCE ON YOUR ASSESSMENT IS TEN PERCENT ABOVE OR TEN PERCENT BELOW THE TRUE MARKET VALUE OF YOUR HOME....THEN IT IS CONSIDERED ACCURATE. THINK ABOUT THAT....IF YOU AND I HAVE EQUAL MARKET VALUE HOMES...AND YOUR ASSESSMENT IS TEN PERCENT TOO HIGH...AND MINE IS TEN PERCENT TOO LOW...YOU WILL BE PAYING TWENTY PERCENT MORE SCHOOL, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL PROPERTY TAXES THAN ME. ON A TOTAL PROPERTY TAX BILL OF $3,000....THE DIFFERENCE YOU WILL PAY IS $600 PER YEAR MORE THAN WHAT I WILL PAY. AND THAT IS CONSIDERED ACCURATE BY THE IAAO.
IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY THE VARIANCE IS OVER 30%.
YOU WOULD PAY 1,800 MORE IN PROPERTY TAXES THAN I WOULD ON A PROPERTY OF THE SAME VALUE.
ALLEGHENY COUNTY HAS SPENT OVER $30 MILLION TO TRY TO GET THE ASSESSMENTS RIGHT. AND AFTER ALL THAT EFFORT ALLEGHENY COUNTY ASSESSMENTS CAN RANGE AS MUCH AS 30% TOO HIGH OR THIRTY PERCENT TOO LOW.
IF THE ASSESSMENTS ARE WRONG...THEN THE TAXES BASED ON THOSE ASSESSMENTS MUST BE WRONG, TOO. THAT'S WHY THE ENTIRE SYSTEM MUST BE ABOLISHED.
SOME SAY...WELL IF YOU ASSESSMENT IS WRONG APPEAL IT. SO WE FORCE ELDERLY, INFIRM, ILL, PEOPLE TO A HEARING, SOME YOUNGER CITIZENS MUST MISS WORK TO FIGHT FOR A SO CALLED FAIR ASSESSMENT. IF THE COUNTY ASSESSORS CAN'T GET THE ASSESSMENT RIGHT...WHAT'S TO SAY THE HEARING EXAMINER IS ANY MORE COMPETENT TO GET IT RIGHT?
IF I'M WEALTHIER, I HIRE AN ATTORNEY FOR $350 TO FIGHT MY CASE. I CAN HIRE AN PROFESSIONAL APPRAISER FOR $400 TO $500 TO HELP THE $350 ATTORNEY. THEY APPEAL THE ASSESSMENT FOR ME. IF I STILL AM NOT SATISIFIED WITH THE RESULT OF THAT HEARING, I CAN SPEND ANOTHER $63 TO APPEAL TO COMMON PLEAS COURT. AND IF IT WANT TO BE EFFECTIVE THERE, I CAN SPEND MAYBE $500 TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO REPRESENT ME IN THE COURT HEARING. CAN MIDDLE AND LOWER INCOME FOLKS AFFORD $1,300 FOR SUCH APPEALS? NO, BUT UPPER INCOME FOLKS CAN...SO WE HAVE A SYSTEM WHICH FAVORS THE WEALTHY AND DUMPS ON THE LOWER INCOME HOMEOWNERS WHO CAN'T FIGHT BACK WITH THE SAME PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE.
RESPECTED REALTOR, HOWARD, HODDY, HANNA LAST YEAR TOLD A LEGISLATIVE PROPERTY TAX REFORM HEARING IN HAMPTON TOWNSHIP, THAT PROPERTY ASSESSMENTS ARE JUST PLAIN WRONG. HE SAID IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CORRECTLY ASSESS INDIVIDUAL HOMES BECAUSE THERE ARE JUST TOO MANY VARIABLES. HE ADDED THAT NO AMOUNT OF MONEY SPENT ON REASSESSMENTS COULD EVER CORRECT THE ASSESSMENTS. HE ALSO SAID PROPERTY TAXES HURT HOMEOWNERS AND THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO CANNOT PAY THEIR PROPERTY TAXES...DUE TO ILLNESS, LOST EMPLOYMENT, FINANCIAL SETBACKS.
ONE OF THE SPOUSES DIES AND NOW THERE IS JUST ONE SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK. THEY FALL BEHIND ON THEIR TAXES....PENALTIES AND INTEREST ARE ADDED...SOMETIMES PRIVATE COLLECTION FIRMS ARE HIRED WHO IMMEDIATELY ADD AS MUCH AS $1,000 TO THE HOMEOWNERS DEBT.
TENS OF THOUSANDS OF TIMES PER YEAR...HOMES ARE THEN SOLD AT SHERIFF SALE...WE ESTIMATE A MINIMUM OF 30,000 TAX SALES AND SHERIFF SALES ARE HELD PER YEAR IN PENNSYLVANIA. 30,000 INDIVIDUALS OR FAMILIES LOSE THEIR HOMES, SOME ON TAXES THEY NEVER EVEN OWED.
WHEN A HOME IS SOLD AT SHERIFF SALE....THE SO CALLED DELINQUENT HOMEOWNER LOSES NOT ONLY THEIR HOME, BUT MOST OR ALL OF THE EQUITY BUILT UP OVER MANY YEARS OF PAYING FOR AND MAINTAINING THAT HOME.
EXAMPLE: LET'S SAY YOU HAVE A HOME WORTH $50,000 AND IT IS PAID FOR. YOUR DELINQUENT TAXES, PENALTIES AND INTEREST ARE $5,000. AT THE SHERIFF SALE THE HOME IS SOLD FOR TAX, PENALTIES AND INTEREST...$5,000. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE $45,000 IN EQUITY THE DELINQUENT OWNER HAD IN THE HOME? IT IS STOLEN FROM THEM... AND GIVEN TO THE PERSON OR COMPANY WHO BOUGHT THE HOME AT SHERIFF SALE AUCTION.
SOME SAY MOST DELIQUENT TAXPAYERS ARE DEADBEATS. LET ME ASK YOU IF A DEADBEAT IS WORSE THAN AN ARMED ROBBER?
IF I HELD YOU UP WITH A GUN AND TOOK YOUR WALLET. THEN WAS ARRESTED AND FOUND GUILTY OF MUGGING YOU. IF THE JUDGE SENTENCED ME TO JAIL TIME, PLUS RESTITUTION, FINES AND COURT COSTS TOTALING $5,000...MY FINANCIAL DEBT TO SOCIETY THEN IS $5,000. COULD THAT JUDGE THEN SAY...MR. LOGUE, DO YOU HAVE ANY LEGALLY ATTAINED SAVINGS BONDS. YES, YOUR HONOR...$3,000 IN SAVINGS BONDS IS SAVED UP OVER THE YEARS. THE JUDGE SAYS...OK, EVEN THOUGH YOU PAID YOUR $5,000 DEBT TO SOCIETY WE ARE GOING CONFISCATE YOUR $3,000 IN SAVINGS BONDS. DO YOU HAVE ANY 401 K PLAN FROM WHEN YOU WORKED AT KDKA? YES, YOUR HONOR...IT HAS $12,000 IN IT. OH, GOOD SAYS THE JUDGE, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE ALL THAT, TOO.
CAN'T BE DONE YOU SAY? IF MY DEBT TO SOCIETY AS A MUGGER IS $5,000 IN RESTITUTION, FINES AND COURT COSTS, THEY CAN'T TAKE MY OTHER LEGALLY ATTAINED ASSETS? WHY THEN CAN WE TAKE $45,000 OR MORE IN LEGALLY ATTAINED EQUITY IN A HOME FROM SOMEONE WHOSE DEBT TO SOCIETY OF PROPERTY TAXES, PENALTIES AND INTEREST IS JUST $5,000? WE TREAT DELINQUENT HOMEOWNERS WORSE THAN ARMED ROBBERS.
I HAVE PROVIDED THE COMMITTEE WITH A PROPERTY TAX REFORM COMPARISON CHART THAT I WOULD LIKE TO GO OVER WITH YOU.
IT COMPARES THREE BASIC PROPERTY TAX CONCEPTS:
THE STOP PLAN THAT CALLS FOR TOTAL ABOLISHMENT OF ALL PROPERTY TAXES ON PRIMARY RESIDENCES, A PLAN THAT WANTS TO JUST ABOLISH SCHOOL TAXES...AND THOSE PLANS THAT CALL JUST FOR A REDUCTION IN PROPERTY TAXES.
GO OVER THE CHART
AT THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF SENATOR SEAN LOGAN, A DEMOCRAT AND SENATOR JANE ORIE, A REPUBLICAN; THE PENNSYLVANIA SENATE VOTED 50 TO NOTHING...TO HAVE THE STOP PLAN EXAMINED BY THE STATE'S TOP FISCAL AND BUDGET EXPERTS AT THE LEGISLATIVE BUDGET AND FINANCE COMMITTEE.
THE RESULTS OF THAT STUDY PROVED WHAT STOP HAD BEEN SAYING SINCE 2002. THE STOP PLAN IS FISCALLY SOUND, IS VIABLE, AND WILL ALWAYS PROVIDE SUFFICIENT REPLACEMENT FUNDS FOR OUR SCHOOLS COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES WHEN ALL PROPERTY TAXES ON PRIMARY RESIDENCES ARE ABOLISHED. THE STUDY STATED THAT THE STOP PLAN WILL TOTALLY REPLACE THE REVENUE IN BOTH GOOD AND BAD TIMES WITHOUT RAISING THE SALES OR INCOME TAXES BEYOND THE LEVELS INCLUDED IN THAT PLAN. COPIES OF THIS STUDY ARE AVAILABLE BY CONTACTING PHIL DURGIN AT THE LBFC AT (717)783-1600.
WE BELIEVE THIS IS MORE THAN A TAX ISSUE...INSTEAD IT IS AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ISSUE...AND WE BELIEVE ABOLISHING PROPERTY TAXES ON PRIMARY RESIDENCES WILL CREATE AN ECONOMIC BOOM UNLIKE ANY IN RECENT TIMES IN EVERY COMMUNITY AND COUNTY IN THE STATE. IT'S A HOUSING ISSUE....THE GOVERNMENT SPENDS MILLIONS TRYING TO HELP PEOPLE OWN A HOME....WHEN PROPERTY TAXES ON PRIMARY RESIDENCES ARE ABOLISHED....THERE WILL BE NO MORE TAX EQUITY PAYMENT AS PART OF A MORTGAGE...SO MORE LOW AND MIDDLE INCOME FOLKS CAN BUY HOMES. IT'S A COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ISSUE: NOW WHEN SOMEONE PURCHASES AN OLDER HOME FOR THEIR FAMILY AND FIXES IT UP, THEY ARE PENALIZED WITH HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES. SO PEOPLE SAY WHAT'S THE USE AND OLDER HOMES SIT AND WASTE AWAY.
IT'S A JOBS ISSUE. HOMEOWNERS ARE RELUCTANT TO IMPROVE THEIR HOMES, BECAUSE OF THE INCREASES IN PROPERTY TAXES THEY WILL BE PUNISHED WITH FOR ADDING SIDING, NEW WINDOWS, A PAVED DRIVE WAY, A ROOM ADDITION, GARAGE, ETC. WE THINK ONCE THERE IS NO PROPERTY TAXES ON THESE PRIMARY RESIDENCES, MORE PEOPLE WILL INVEST IN THEIR HOMES AND HIRE COMPANIES AND WORKERS TO DO IT.
IT'S A SOCIAL PROGRAM...BECAUSE THERE WILL BE MORE PEOPLE BUILDING WEALTH THROUGH HOME OWNERSHIP THAT WILL HELP THEM TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES IN THEIR LATER YEARS. ELIMINATE THE PROPERTY TAXES ON PRIMARY RESIDENCES AND YOU'LL SAVE THE STATE LOTTERY OVER 6O MILLION A YEAR WHICH CAN BE USED TO EXPAND THE RENT REBATE PROGRAM. OUR PLAN WILL PROVIDE EVEN MORE MONEY FOR COUNTIES, MUNICIPALITIES AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS...BECAUSE THEY ARE FULLY REIMBURSED FOR THEIR LOST PROPERTY TAX REVENUE AND THEY GET 100% OF THE MONEY INSTEAD OF ABOUT 85 OR 90% THEY NOW GET DUE TO THE DISCOUNT GIVEN TO THOSE WHO PAY THEIR PROPERTY TAXES EARLY, COMMISSIONS PAID TO TAX COLLECTORS OR TAX COLLECTION AGENCIES, LATE ARRIVING REVENUE, AND NO REVENUE COMING FROM ABANDONED PROPERTIES. ...PLUS THEY STILL GET THE REVENUE FROM PROPERTY TAXES ON COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL PROPERTIES; THEIR LOCAL EARNED INCOME TAXES, ETC WHICH WILL INCREASE AS THE ECONOMY INCREASES.
MUNICIPALTIES DON'T COLLECT 100% OF BILLED TAXES EITHER. INSTEAD, THEY GET ANYWHERE FROM 70 TO 90%...WHICH MEANS THEY LOST ANYWHERE FROM TEN PERCENT TO 30% OF THEIR BILLED PROPERTY TAXES.
COUNTIES NOW COLLECT AROUND 85%, I'M TOLD...BUT COUNTIES ABSORB THE COST OF ALL THE ASSESSMENTS, REASSESSMENTS, HEARINGS, ETC. SINCE ROUGHLY 3/4THS OR MORE OF PROPERTIES IN EACH COUNTY ARE PRIMARY RESIDENCES—HOMESTEADS AND FARMSTEADS—THAT MEANS THE COUNTIES WOULD NO LONGER NEED TO ASSESS AND REASSESS AND HAVING HEARINGS, ETC. ON 3/4THS OR MORE OF THEIR PROPERTIES. IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY, THERE ARE SOME 550,000 PROPERTIES....IN ROUND FIGURES 400,000 ARE PRIMARY RESIDENCES. ALLEGHENY COUNTY'S ASSESSMENT OFFICE BUDGET IS SLIGHTLY OVER $7 MILLION A YEAR. UNDER OUR PLAN...ELIMINATING 3/4THS OF THEIR WORKLOAD CAN MEAN A CUT IN THE SIZE OF THAT BUDGET DOWN TO MAYBE $3 MILLION A YEAR. THAT'S A HEALTHY $4 MILLION DOLLAR SAVINGS TO TAXPAYERS. ECONOMIST, DR. MARK HENDRICKSON, FACULTY MEMBER AT GROVE CITY COLLEGE RECENTLY WROTE THE FOLLOWING ABOUT PROPERTY TAXES ON HOMES. ...AND I QUOTE: THIS FORM OF TAXATION IS TOTALLY ANTIQUATED, APPROPRIATE IN AMERCA'S 19TH CENTURY AGRARAIAN SOCIETY BUT OUT OF PLACE TODAY. IN THE 1800'S WHEN THERE WAS NO INCOME TAX, IT WAS CONSIDERED NONE OF THE GOVERNMENT'S BUSINESS HOW MUCH MONEY ANYBODY MADE, THE PROPERTY TAX SERVED AS A PROXY FOR ONE'S INCOME. THIS MADE A LOT OF SENSE THEN, BECAUSE IT WAS LOGICAL TO ASSUME THAT THE CITIZEN FARMING 80 ACRES HAD A HIGHER INCOME THAN ONE FARMING ONLY 40 ACRES. THE HOMESTEADS OF MOST AMERICANS ARE NOT THEIR SOURCE OF INCOME, BUT MERELY WHERE THEY LIVE. WHY, THEN, TAKE MORE MONEY FROM A CITIZEN WITH A HOUSE OF 1500 SQUARE FEET THAN ONE WITH 900? ONE OF THE ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF PRUDENT TAXATION IS THAT, IN ORDER TO AVOID HARMING CITIZENS, TAXES SHOULD TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE INDIVIDUAL'S ABILITY TO PAY. TODAY, ONE'S ABILITY TO PAY DEPENDS FAR MORE ON ONE'S INCOME THAN ON THE SIZE OF ONE'S HOUSE. TO CONTINUE TAXING PEOPLE AS IF THEIR HOUSE WERE GENERATING THEIR INCOME IS ABSURD. END QUOTE. DR. HENDRICKSON CALLED FOR THE ABOLISHMENT OF PROPERTY TAXES.
STOP IS ASKING THIS COMMITTEE, OUR LEGISLATURE AND OUR GOVERNOR, NOT TO JUST DO WHAT IS EXPEDIENT...AND THEN HAVE WRESTLE WITH THIS PROBLEM AGAIN YEAR AFTER YEAR, INSTEAD DO WHAT IS RIGHT...ABOLISH ALL PROPERTY TAXES ON PRIMARY RESIDEENCES AND REPLACE THEM WITH MORE SENSIBLE, FAIR, MORE BROADBASED AND ACCURATE TAXES.
I KNOW THAT HIS HEARING WAS TO BE FOCUSED ON HB1600. AS A STAND ALONE PLAN, STOP OPPOSES HB 1600 BECAUSE IT COMBINES A TEMPORARY REDUCTION IN PROPERTY TAXES WITH A PERMANENT INCREASE IN SALES AND INCOME TAXES---ONE OF CHAIRMAN LEVDANSKY'S FAVORITE LINES OF OURS. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LEGISLATION THAT WILL PREVENT PROPERTY TAXES FROM RISING AGAIN.
HOWEVER, IN AN EFFORT TO MOVE THIS ENTIRE ISSUE FORWARD TO A PERMANENT CONCLUSION WHILE STILL HELPING THE HOMEONERS ARE THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE TIME, STOP PROPOSES THE FOLLOWING IN THIS CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER:
1. SINCE ABOLISHMENT OF PROPERTY TAXES REQUIRES A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT....WE PROPOSE THAT HEARINGS COMMENCE IMMEDIATELY ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT WHICH WILL BE INTRODUCED SHORTLY IN THE HOUSE BY REP. GERGELY. IT IS TIME TO GIVE THE CITIZENS THE RIGHT TO VOTE ON THIS ISSUE.
2. WE PROPOSE THAT FOLLOWING THE HEARINGS, FIRST PASSAGE OF THE AMENDMENT OCCUR BY THE LEGISLATURE. THAT WOULD DEMONSTRATE TO THE CITIZENS TWO THINGS: FIRST, THE SINCERITY OF THE LEGISLATURE ABOUT ABOLISHING PROPERTY TAXES...NOT JUST REDUCING THEM, AND TWO, THAT THE LEGISLATURE WANTS TO LET THE CITIZENS BE HEARD ON THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE.
3. HB 1600 OR SIMILAR LEGISLATION COULD THEN BE ENACTED TO PROVIDE THE HOMEOWNERS WITH A TEMPORARY PROPERTY TAX REDUCTION...WHILE WE AWAIT THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PROCESS. HOWEVER, WE ASK THAT HB 1600 BE AMENDED TO INCLUDE A SUNSET PROVISION, THAT SIMPLY STATES IF THE LEGISLATURE FAILS TO PASS THE PROPERTY TAX CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT A SECOND TIME IN 2009—WHEN THE NEW LEGISLATURE IS SEATED, THE PROPERTY TAX REDUCTIONS AND THE INCREASES IN SALES AND INCOME TAXES IN YOUR BILL, WOULD EXPIRE. AGAIN, THIS DEMONSTRATES THE DESIRE OF THIS COMMITTEE, OUR LEGISLATURE AND OUR GOVERNOR TO GIVE THE CITIZENS THE RIGHT TO VOTE ON A PROPERTY TAX AMENDMENT. AND YOUR DESIRE TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM COMPLETELY AND PERMANENTLY.
4. IN EARLY 2009, THE LEGISLATURE COULD PASS THE AMENDMENT A SECOND TIME...PRODDED BY THE SUNSET PROVISION IN HB 1600, AND IN NOVEMBER, 2009 THE CITIZENS WOULD BE GIVEN THE RIGHT TO MAKE THE FINAL DECISION ON ABOLISHMENT OF PROPERTY TAXES ON PRIMARY RESIDENCES. IF THE CITIZENS VOTE YES, THE LEGISLATURE AND GOVERNOR HAVE THE MANDATE TO ENACT THE REPLACEMENT TAXES TO REMOVE THE FINAL 50% OF THE PROPERTY TAXES ON PRIMARY RESIDENCES AND THE PROPERTY TAX ON PRIMARY RESIDENCES WOULD BE DUMPED ON THE SCRAP HEAP OF SOCIETY WHERE IT BELONGS.
TO SEE SB 717-718 VISIT www.grandoldusa.com Our house bill will be posted as soon as it is available from Rep. Gergely.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND ATTENTION.
- Carl F. Miller says :
- Dear Mr. Logue:
You are to be commended for this honest and straightforward address to members of the Finance Committee. Unfortunately, I believe your remarks fell on deaf ears (as they have fallen since 2002).
You may recall that in 2004, I sent you an email message I received from "Dandy Dave" Levdansky in which he stated "The STOP Plan is DOA." I doubt that he has changed his mind since that time. He, and others like him, have theirs---he,and others like him, are the very ones you are talking about in your message; the ones who are financially capable of hiring lawyers to fight their humpty-dumpty re-assessments. Levdansky represents (just joking)the citizens in a community that hired one of those collection agencies you mentioned to further increase the amount of bogus property taxes heaped upon those hapless citizens. If I can obtain the name of that collection agency, I will post it on this site (assumning of course that I am not blacklisted and prevented from doing so). It seems that I am not as diplomatic as you would like for me to be.
On September 10, 2007 (The Eve of the bombing of the World Trade Center),I wrote to Logan, Orie, The Tribune-Review Newspapers, Tom Balya and Tom Ceraso (both Wesmtoreland County Commissioners) and voiced my concern with the fact that on the eve of this terrible disaster, they were planning to sell 1762 citizens' homes for delinquent property taxes the very next day (And they did, too!). Now, that's what I call a demonstration of compassion and concern for their constituents! They must have read that part of the Bible wherein it states "Do Unto Others As You...." I say their all a bunch of heathens and hypocrites! As for contacting these civic-minded "representatives?", you might be interested to know that none of them ever responded. And that's an other demonstration of their indifference and disdain for we common folks! "They just don't give a damn; they have theirs!
As a suggestion, you might want to contact Gene Stilp and Russ Diamond. These two patriots and thousands of their fellow supporters got the attention of a lot of the politicans and judges during the 2005 elections (And I think they are still getting teir attention as the elections once again come near). But we'll see how long a memory the voters have at election time. If my estimation of voter's intellect tells me anything, it's that their memories are about as long as a butterfly's heartbeat! It's too bad that the voters in Levdansky's district were not informed of his DOA remark prior to the 2005 elections. Even then, I'm not sure whether or not it would have made any difference to those voters, because for me, it seems that the only qualification one needs to be elected, is to be "a nice guy."
Nevertheless, I want to again commend you for your grit and forthrightness. Hopefully during the upcoming election, voters will again decide to rid themselves of the DOAers such as Levdansky, and elect persons who truly have (and are willing to stand up and demonstrate it) the best interests of the citizens of Pennsylvania at heart.
Thanks again, and May God Bless,
Carl F. Miller
- R.Nemchick says :
- I have been saying this all along,more taxes are not the answer.There are seniors who have to decide whether or not to pay taxes or eat and buy medicine.
- Pat Fields says :
- Hi Folks,
I've been studying this question of property tax for over nine years now, to come to the conclusion that "we're not in Kansas any more".
Here's five irrefutable facts to cogitate... (1) our constitution reserves our indefeasible right to own land and the property in it ... (2) the federal constitution demands that no State can make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debt ... (3) No rule in either Webster's or the Oxford dictionaries allows for any normal English word to be fully transcribed in capital lettering ... (4) The federal constitution allows that in exclusively federal or State property, no claims of one or the other is prejudiced by the federal constitution (property is legally defined as authorities and obligations attendant to a thing, not the thing itself) ... (5) On March 3rd of 1791, George Washington laid federal districts over each of the State territories.
As to fact one: Domicilliary citizens inhabiting the organic State of Pennsylvania can not be taxed in their private lands. Two: Tax on Pennsylvania (read: 'district of PA') land is levied and collected in Reserve Bank notes. Three: That tax is demanded of fictitious persons (according to the two highest documented authorities on the English language) designated by titles in fully capitalized style. Four: The General Assembly stipulated that our State's title is officially abbreviated as 'Penna.'. Five: Congress stipulated that the federal government's abbreviation is rather 'PA'.
Now, it may at first appear unbelievable, but that list of facts are facts ... My studies indicate that sometime about 1913, State governments abandoned their original jurisdictions and re-located their operations in the federal district jurisdictions that Washington created in order to use the forbidden 'Bills of Credit' (Hint: Jurisdictions are not bounded places, they are authorities over subjects in those places). As the inevitable inflation caused by the enormous stream of those bills began to bear down on governmental costs, they 'corporated' people's English names to legally remove their natural rights (what is created, is under the complete control of its creator) and coerce them into using more and more specific federal references to their lands (for reasons of fixing domicil) so they could tax anything they convinced themselves wouldn't cause riots in the streets the following morning.
Remember ... State constitutions only have effect in exclusively State jurisdictions and in those of exclusively federal jurisdiction … no constitutions at all ... nor any bills of rights!
The really worst part is that the house of notes the Banksters, Barristocracy and Politicos have built is about to implode. Leveraged out some 56 times, the total liabilities of credit-money is valued in excess of 600 trillion Reserve Bank
'dollars' and a few tens of trillions of the foundational funding (in balooned real estate values) has already disintegrated. When the credit cards and other pillars of underlying debt give way, the domino effect on the rest of the leveraging will plunge the world into total financial havoc.
That's when the world's 'nobility' of Politicos, Banksters and Barristocrats will start trying to eat their serfs alive.
You think this property tax thing is bad? Friends, you ain't seen nothing like what's down the pike a little ways further.
My Dad taught me that "Government exists for one purpose alone ... to exert control. If you don't control it ... it eventually controls everything."
Patrick Neil Fields
Philadelphia city & county
The commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- Willard Smith III says :
- This action may come too little too late for me. I became disabled in 05 and could no longer work. At the time my wife was my sole support. We were divorced at the end of 05. I had to move out of her house. I family helped with some money to find a new place to live. In the meantime, I had no income except for DPA for all of 06. Needless to say, I couldn't pay my taxes and am now scheduled for sherrif sale Sept 08. I will be losing my home and this may be too little too late.
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