A group of about 50 gathered at the Edwardsville Grotto Pizza on Tuesday, March 12, for an update on the Property Tax Independence Act status from the CAPTaxes board of directors. CAPTaxes stands for Citizens Against Property Taxes, an organization formed about eight years ago with a very focused interest.
President Joyce Dombroski-Gebhardt encouraged supporters of the legislation, filed as SB 76 in the state Senate and HB 76 in the House, to call in to local talk radio shows to tout its benefits amidst public criticism by opponents. One of the meeting attendees offered a brief report of his recent lobbying of state legislators at their Harrisburg offices. Board member Tom Gow Sr. stated that Senate support for the bill stood at 25 of 50 members as of March 12, with House support at 87 of 202 members.
Brand new board member John Kistler explained that property taxation works hand-in-hand with banking practices to seize homes from their residents. This is primarily accomplished by what is known as “fractional reserve lending,” which permits banks to loan money into existence with a few keystrokes on a computer, rather than lending from already existing capital.
Board of directors chairman Tom Dombroski provided the lion’s share of the formal briefing, claiming the organization had felt betrayed by the state House, despite its being in the hands of Republicans, and so was focusing its efforts on advancing the school property tax legislation in the Senate. The House and Senate bills are identical. Dombroski lamented how seniors are losing their homes because of property taxes — school, municipal, and county — despite having already paid off their mortgages. He claimed that SB 76 needs county-level support in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties and that PSEA (Pennsylvania State Education Association) disinformation concerning the bill must be countered.
Dombroski further asserted that homeowners are the victims of the PSEA “buying off legislators,” spending some $5.7 million to defeat the measure, and advised campaign finance research be performed at FollowtheMoney.org. To demonstrate existing support for property tax relief within the educational community, he noted that Luzerne County school boards are being asked to pass resolutions supporting SB 76.
A CAPTaxes representative may be reached at (570) 709–4852.