Week of April 6, 2015
Column: “Reform is in the Eye of the Beholder”
The terms “bold” “slash” and “fairer” jumped out at me as they aren’t adjectives I would have used to describe the Governor’s proposed plans.
For example, I support Senate Bill 76 to totally eliminate school property taxes. To reach this much needed and long overdue goal, you need approximately $12 Billion in replacement revenues.
Governor Wolf has proposed approximately $3.5 Billion in property tax reductions, which he says would provide dollar-for-dollar reductions “paid by the average homeowner by 50 percent and reducing the total tax burden on average, middle-class families.”
I don’t see how $3.5 Billion out of an average $12 Billion tax bill equals 50 percent. The math just doesn’t work. And, I fail to see how this is “slashing” property taxes when there’s another alternative that would completely eliminate school property taxes.
This reminds me of President Obama’s plans to change our nation’s health care system. Often called “Obama Care,” many immediately called it “reform.” Again, I wouldn’t.
To me, “reform” begins with respect for our federal and state Constitutions – our rule of law. I think that following the US and Pennsylvania Constitutions would end many of the problems our nation and our state face.
Those who espouse the theory of a “Living Constitution” disagree. They claim the Constitution is a living document, designed to evolve with changing times.
“Reform” isn’t a phrase that should be used lightly. Changes should be grounded in the Constitution, they should be well thought out, and they should be focused on ensuring they’re done correctly. Otherwise, “reform” is simply in the eye of the beholder.
Senate and House State Government Committees Joint Public Hearing
2015 Great American Cleanup of PA Currently Underway
Collectively Pennsylvania had 135,897 volunteers in 2014, cleaning up 6,344,912 pounds of trash, covering 10,908 miles. The 2015 Great American Cleanup of PA began on March 1 and ends on May 31. Events registered through www.gacofpa.org will receive free bags, gloves and vests from PennDOT District Offices while supplies last.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association will also sponsor Let’s Pick It Up PA every day from April 11 to May 4. During the Pick It Up PA Days, registered events will be able to take the trash collected during their cleanup to participating landfills for free or reduced disposal.
To register your event or for more information contact Michelle Dunn, Great American Cleanup of PA Coordinator at 877-772-3673 x113 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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101 Municipal Building