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70 Lancaster Avenue, Suite B 
Malvern, PA 19355
Phone:  610-251-1070
Fax:  610-251-1074
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Hon. Duane Milne
150-A East Wing
PO Box 202167
Harrisburg PA 17120-2167
Phone:  (717) 787-8579
Fax:  (717) 787-1295

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Don’t Forget the Referendum Question When you Vote Tuesday
11/3/2017
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Don’t Forget the Referendum Question When you Vote Tuesday

When you vote on Tuesday, November 7, there will be a referendum question as follows:

“Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to permit the General Assembly to enact legislation authorizing local taxing authorities to exclude from taxation up to 100 percent of the assessed value of each homestead property within a local taxing jurisdiction, rather than limit the exclusion to one-half of the median assessed value of all homestead property, which is the existing law?”

What this matter refers to is that in 1997 the Pennsylvania Constitution was amended to allow school districts and townships the authority to reduce homeowners’ property taxes at any amount up to 50 percent of the median assessed value of all primary residences (“homesteads”) in the area. This ballot question proposes to raise that figure to 100 percent.

Please know that this referendum is NOT about voting to do away with property taxes, nor requiring school districts and local governments to eliminate them. The question is solely about giving local elected officials the authority to potentially reduce property taxes (at a higher rate than they can already if they want) and replace such with another revenue source, such as an income tax or sales tax.

Raising the exemption level (the ballot question) would occur if and only if:
1) the voters choose to pass this referendum;
2) the legislature subsequently passes a law granting local taxing jurisdictions
the authority to eliminate up to 100% of the property taxes in an area; and
3) a school district or local government eventually opts to put these exemptions in place, and rely more upon another type of tax rather than property taxes.

So the bottom line is that this ballot question seeks to expand a local option that actually exists in law already, but is rarely used by local communities anyway.

The larger question still is: are you willing to pay more in income and/or sales taxes in order to compensate for less property taxes being collected? I personally have not supported these kinds of measures in Harrisburg, because, in the final analysis, most of us will end up with a larger tax bill, property taxes will still keep going up, and our school districts will suffer from lost funding.

See you on Tuesday when I am out and about!
 
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Office Locations
70 Lancaster Avenue, Suite B, Malvern, PA 19355 | Phone: 610-251-1070
150-A East Wing, PO Box 202167, Harrisburg PA 17120-2167 | Phone: (717) 787-8579
Email: dmilne@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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