In response to Representative Christiana’s article in the Beaver County Times about eliminating property taxes, I find it somewhat intriguing that he would propose a bill that would eliminate a major revenue stream without a replacement strategy in place. We are to believe that eliminating one bill will force their hand to create another. We as tax payers have already seen failed attempts by our legislature to resolve issues, for example, last year’s budget impasse. Make no mistake, this proposal is nothing but ear candy for election purposes. Jim Christiana knows full well that this has no chance of passing. The mere thought of eliminating such a tax without an alternative is ludicrous, and more importantly, irresponsible.
We all know that Representative Christiana is a foe of public education. He will tell you he supports it but every proposal he makes hurts it, this bill being one of them. The majority’s failure (which he is a part of) to fund PSERS mandated by law has created a deficit that will cost our tax payers millions upon millions of dollars to fix. His newest proposal will squarely put the burden of funding public schools in the hands of the tax payers in the local communities of Pennsylvania. This in turn will create more tax payer hardship. We can’t depend on the legislature now to divvy up monies fairly and equitably. How can they expect us to believe they will do it by trying to create a new tax system? Under the current property tax system, local taxes are paid to a tax collector, and those monies in turn are sent directly to the local school district. What Mr. Christiana is asking you as tax payers to do under his proposal is send the money to the state and let them disburse it. Not only is this going to be a political tug of war, but think about who will administer it.
His ideas are to curb government and the responsibilities of the state. This proposal will create a need for more government and bureaucratic red tape. It only says that the majority in power will determine what schools will survive. I am not opposed to tax reform, especially for our senior citizens, but until a better and more reliable tax plan is created we cannot afford to play roulette with our education system. This bill is a job killer, and his way of breaking up the public school system and the residual effects from it will be devastating to the economy of Pennsylvania.