FORTY-FORT— Members of AFSCME Council 13, subchapter 8702, and the general public gathered Thursday afternoon at the Luzerne County West Side Annex located on the grounds of the Wyoming Valley Airport to learn more about SB 76, the Property Tax Independence Act, currently sitting in the Pennsylvania Senate’s Finance Committee. AFSCME is the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees. The information session was coordinated by subchapter President Charles Urban and Vice President Ed Gryskiewicz and was geared towards retired members of the union. The bill eliminates school property taxes across the commonwealth, replacing that revenue with an increased and expanded sales tax and a 38 percent increase in the commonwealth’s Personal Income Tax.
The featured speaker was Pennsylvania Association of Realtors lobbyist Chuck Liedike who addressed the group for about an hour. Liedike made the case for the legislation by means of a 30-minute slide presentation—including a set of Myths and Facts concerning the measure—and then fielded questions from the audience. He revealed that he expects a Senate floor vote on SB 76 mid-December and directed AFSCME members to www.RealReform76.com to read about more of the advantages of the school property tax elimination bill.