Siptroth says property tax calls are inaccurate

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:06

    To the editor: Bothersome calls to local residents from an unknown source regarding a failed tax plan have left me frustrated. These calls are uninformed and underhanded, and residents should hang up on them. I have been the target of calls before and I held my tongue. What is most disturbing is that the phone message is inaccurate. The tax plan in question was defeated not by deceptive tactics, but through a fair debate. The sales tax expansion plan, or ‘Commonwealth Caucus’ plan, is tantamount to the largest tax increase in state history. Despite claims by its creators, the Revenue Department’s estimates conclude that the funds generated would fall far short of the necessary money needed to achieve its goal of property tax elimination. It is a regressive tax that hurts our lowest-income neighbors by taxing necessities like food and clothing. Furthermore, it is no friend to small business or people who plan to buy a home in Pennsylvania because of the tax added on small-business services and by increasing the realty transfer tax by 200 percent. The demise of one plan does not indicate the end of the effort to achieve property tax relief. The legislature will continue to tackle this issue in the coming weeks; but we won’t settle for a plan that is doomed to fail and take Pennsylvania’s residents down with it. There are several measures that have come across my desk, and I am currently reviewing them and considering support. State Rep. John Siptroth, D-Monroe/Pike