Letter to the Editor: In support of SB 76

 Letters to the Editor

Disclaimer: Letters to the Editor express the opinion of the writer and are not necessarily the opinion of WBIG ownership, management or staff.

Did you ever wonder why the people living in the Scranton area are not happy?

We want to call your attention to something extremely important: as long as you have to pay school property taxes, you will never own your home. You will always be a renter. Regrettably, Senator John Blake supports keeping you a permanent renter in your home.

How would you like to eliminate your school property taxes once and for all? Many homeowners, businesses, and senior citizens are facing foreclosures and sheriff sales because they cannot afford both the costs of homeownership and the rapidly rising level of school property taxes.

In the Commonwealth today, many tens of thousands of homeowners face foreclosure each year, and many do, indeed, lose their homes because they cannot afford to pay their property taxes. This is a problem that your elected officials, including Senator Blake, have ignored for years.

Presently, in the Pennsylvania legislature, sits one of the most significant bipartisan pieces of legislation that you may see in your lifetime. Its title is Senate Bill 76 (SB 76) and it will completely outlaw the collection of property taxes to fund public schools. In a revenue-neutral shift, Senate Bill 76 will replace the property tax funding mechanism for schools with small increases in the state sales tax and the personal income tax. This will increase the funding base for public schools and remove the pressure from struggling homeowners to carry the whole load.

Senate Bill 76 will dramatically alter the Pennsylvania economic landscape for the better. It will allow an additional $12 BILLION to be pumped into Pennsylvania’s economy each year, and will dramatically attract new business in our state. It is projected that thousands of new jobs will be created, and your children will enjoy more opportunities to remain in Pennsylvania. The real estate market will dramatically improve, a stable education funding model will be established for teachers, and struggling homeowners will finally be able to sleep at night. Best of all, the homeowner who has worked his entire life to buy a home will finally own it.

Unfortunately, a group of senators who represent monied special interest are maneuvering to keep SB 76 from coming to the floor for a vote. They want you to forever pay rapidly escalating property taxes on your home. These senators include John Blake.

These senators need to be reminded that they work for you and not for the groups that line their pockets with campaign gifts. Senator Blake should be working to protect the homes of his constituents and not for the well-being of special interests.

After a lifetime of working and saving, no person should ever lose their homes because of school property taxes. We are again calling on Senator Blake to support SB 76 and eliminate school property taxes. It is time that he openly supports the common working people in his districts.

The people of Scranton would benefit immensely if school funding came from Harrisburg instead of from the city’s property owners. Senator Blake should understand that the people who live and work in Scranton pay enough taxes. Senate Bill 76 deserves Blake’s support and a floor vote.

Just ask the homeowners in Senator’s Blake’s district if that would help make them happier.

Charles Urban, president, Luzerne County Taxpayers Association (partially in Blake’s District), Member of PTCC (84 member groups in PA), and Korean War vet, Kingston



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