If thirty or forty thousand Pennsylvania homes were lost due to some natural disaster, would you consider that an emergency?
Would you want the government to act quickly to prevent more homes from being lost?
In Pennsylvania each year an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 families or individuals lose their homes due entirely, or in part, to delinquent or excessive property taxes.
In Allegheny County alone during 2004, over 10,300 homes were confiscated and sold at sheriff sale. The individuals and families not only lost their homes, they lost much or all of the equity they had accrued in that home; and their credit has been damaged by liens placed on the property for unpaid taxes.
Sheriff sales force the relocation of perhaps as many as 60,000 of our citizens every year, including children, frail elderly, disabled, low income workers and others.
Perhaps their greatest crime is that they are poor and don’t know how to fight their government. In some instances, we believe the assessments are not even accurate and all the taxes may not have been owed. If that isn’t an emergency, I don’t know what is.
Confiscating a persons home and some or all of their equity— often far beyond their debt to society-- is excessive punishment.
Persons accused of serious crimes like murder or rape are provided with free legal counsel; but those who cannot pay their property taxes are afforded no legal assistance and must fend for themselves.
Because of this tragic situation in Pennsylvania, Senator Sean Logan and Rep. Marc Gergely, the prime sponsors of the STOP (Primary Residence Protection legislation) included an emergency amendment provision in their bills. This emergency amendment would need to be passed just once by the legislature and could be placed on the ballot as early as the spring 2006 primary election. You, the citizens of Pennsylvania, will have the final vote on our plan to abolish all property taxes on primary residences and replace them with less costly to collect and more equitable taxes.
We urge everyone reading this letter to contact the governor and your state legislators and tell them you want the opportunity to vote on this important property tax reform constitutional amendment. Act now while the special legislative session on property taxes is underway in Harrisburg.
Don’t settle for any plan that does not totally abolish all property taxes—school, county and municipal—on primary residences.
Bob Logue, Box 306, Fairbank, PA 15435-0306 email@example.com
This site uses .PDF files for ease of viewing and printing. You will need to have the free Adobe Reader installed on your computer to view .PDF files properly. If you don't already have it you may get the free Adobe Reader by clicking on the image below.