Thursday, June 21, 2007

Please Send This Email To Your State Rep, Senator & Leadership

From: Warren C Bulette []
Subject: Please Send This Email To Your State Rep, Senator & Leadership


You can find their Email addresses on -----click Public Officials--- look under PA State Government

Or here:


To: (as appropriate)

Subject: Real Property Tax Reform


Dear ________


During the May primary, the citizens of Pennsylvania rejected the tax shift offered by Act 1 because it offered nothing to end the distress from school property taxes. Even in districts where the “relief” might have been $500 per year there are tax increases of 6 to 11 percent already approved for the upcoming school year. Using the median assessed home value and average school tax rate in York County, it would take no more than a year and a half for these increases to completely wipe out the supposed benefits of Act 1.


Fortunately, there is a solution that takes dead aim at the root causes of school property tax distress once and for all, the Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future (PFPF). Also known as the School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007, PFPF overhauls the method by which education is financed in Pennsylvania with a rational allocation formula based primarily on the student population in each district. It completely eliminates school property taxes for homesteads and farmsteads during a 4-year phase in period. It also reduces school property tax on business property by 50% during the same time frame. Lost revenues will be replaced by a broadened 6% sales tax as well as the introduction of a 3% rate on clothing and some food products.


PFPF breaks the cycle of confiscatory taxes on our citizens most valuable possession – their property – and creates a dependable, equitable stream of revenue based entirely on one’s ability to pay. Moreover, It broadens the base to include out-of-state consumers without penalizing anyone.


PFPF provides proven economies of scale to reduce education costs by consolidating debt, bundling health insurance, and standardizing school designs, to name just a few.


An outline and explanation of PFPF’s provisions follows my signature. Along with thousands of your constituents, I urge you to support this important legislation.




Your Name


Phone Number




School Property Tax Elimination 
Act of 2007






FACT Public education is crumbling

  • Dozens of districts are near or in financial distress
  • Education spending is exceeding the rate of inflation by over 2 to 1
  • Inequitable distribution of funding is occurring statewide
  • Current system is discriminating against fast-growing districts
  • Urban school districts are suffering from a continually shrinking tax base



  FACT  Pennsylvania is suffering from the current school funding system

  • Seniors are being forced from their homes because they cannot afford the escalating property taxes
  • Family farms are being sold due to unaffordable property tax assessments
  • Young families cannot afford to purchase a home because the per month property tax escrow is simply too much
  • High property taxes negatively effect the business climate of the state making it difficult for Pennsylvania to be economically competitive
  • The school property tax is antiquated and regressive


BOTTOM LINE: Our current system of school funding is crumbling. This decay has been occurring for many years and continues to escalate. Home foreclosures are occurring at an incredible rate and the new home market is at a standstill. This will have major implications for districts statewide. It can no longer be ignored or diminished. 




The Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future addresses every one of the concerns above and many more. It has been carefully crafted, taking into account all the factors necessary to have a healthy school funding system. It is unique because it is comprehensive, addressing all school funding issues. It is truly the first ever plan to actually completely solve our school funding crisis rather than simply delaying it.




FACT The Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future introduces a modernized school funding plan based on 21st century economic realities.

  • The Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future will ABOLISH the school property tax on all homestead/farmsteads as well as eliminate all local nuisance taxes and other ACT 511 taxes imposed by school districts   
  • The .5% local earned income tax for schools will be eliminated and replaced with a .5% personal income tax                                 
  • This will be accomplished via a four year phase out of school property taxes
  • The plan utilizes our current sales tax mechanism to fund schools, restoring the original intent of the tax. Unlike the governor’s plan, the Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future does not increase the rate but maintains the current rate of six percent. 
  • The sales tax provides a predictable and stable funding source that is tied to economic growth. This is in clear contrast to the school property tax which was not based on economic growth and was subject to much variation.
  • The plan expands the tax base to include most services and some food. In addition, a minimal three percent sales tax will be levied on clothing and some foods.
  • Like our current sales tax system, the Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future retains important exemptions for families and for businesses.


  • Fresh fruit, fresh produce & fresh meats
    Milk, bread, eggs & cheese
  • Food stamp and WIC purchases
  • All residential utilities – gas, electric, water
  • Health services – hospitals, doctors and dentists
  • All prescription drugs
  • Public transportation



  • Core business to business services – accounting, engineering, research, computer and legal services
  • Sale for resale
  • Advertising
  • Trucking
  • Manufacturing wholesale purchases




FACT   The Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future is historic in that, for the first time, Pennsylvania schools will be fully funded.


  • All schools will be held harmless with the state assuming all debt.
  • The legislation establishes an exclusively dedicated Education Operating Fund (EOF) separate from the General Fund into which all sales tax revenue would be deposited and from which schools would be funded.
  • Equity in schools is assured because the state assumes the responsibility of school funding. Each school will receive the resources it needs regardless of the local ability to pay. This solves the funding problems faced by rural, urban and fast-growing districts.
  • In addition, gaming revenues will be utilized to enhance the addressing of the equity needs of our public schools.
  • Eliminates unfunded mandates



FACT Current school spending regular exceeds tax revenue and the Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future addresses it head on.


  • It is not about simply providing the schools with more money. A need for more cash is not the primary problem.
  • Under the first phase of the Plan (Years 1-4), all districts will begin held harmless in that they will initially receive 100% funding sufficient to meet all financial obligations and will be established at a per student expenditure level per district. Initial funding will receive quarterly adjustments for changes in enrollment as well as yearly base increases indexed to a cost of living.
  • Under the second phase of the Plan, all districts will integrate locally-driven, state of the art performance and evaluation methods to improve spending efficiency and academic performance. The savings that accrue as a result of this data-driven decision making (D3M) technology belong to the school district to use as desired. This is first time that Pennsylvania schools will be given the tools to conduct regular, ongoing performance analyses.
  • If a district desires additional revenue, they can present a ballot referendum to the voters of their district to raise additional revenue by either an earned income tax or a personal income tax. However, property taxes will not be able to be re-instituted to raise revenue.




FACT School property taxes need to be prohibited from ever being imposed on Pennsylvanians again.


  • Companion legislation to the Plan for Pennsylvania Future provides for a constitutional amendment which GUARANTEES that, once eliminated, school property taxes would be gone forever and that a future legislature could never re-institute the taxing of our properties.
  • In addition, the amendment would reduce commercial and non-homestead property taxes by 50 percent and then cap them at that rate.





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