Tony Phyrillas informs us that school boards continue to opt out of the scam known as Act 1 Tax Reform. It has been a burden figuring out how this legislative rat’s nest works, and he was kind enough to direct me to the best summary I’ve seen. It is a page at the Pennsylvania Taxpayer’s Cyber Coalition.
This is relevant to us here because one of the reasons it is allegedly a bad idea to move up Pennsylvania’s presidential primary– so we grubbies and sweaties in the Commonwealth can actually have a say in who the major parties nominate for president– is it will be awkward for school boards trying to increase our taxes. You see, under Act 1 school boards who want to raise property taxes above locally determined inflation levels will have to get approval via a referendum during the primary elections. February is apparently too early for school boards to do this.
Turns out that many schools want no part of this scheme anyway. Furthermore, those that are getting suckered into this organized gambling giveaway masquerading as property tax reform are availing themselves of numerous loopholes obviating the need for this referendum. So how many school boards in the entire Commonwealth will need to secure this referendum approval this year?
Only a single school mismanaged gaming this system badly enough that the referendum was invoked. This referendum is supposed to be the major benefit accruing to taxpayers with this scheme. So people can stop telling me Act 1 prevents us from moving up the primary.
Furthermore, if you check out the coaltion’s summary, you will see that ultimately Pennsylvania’s taxpayers will realize no relief at all from this ball of red tape brought to us by the geniuses in the General Assembly. The horse racing industry gets dough for their jockey pension fund before we taxpayers actually see any relief.
So the only reason to keep Pennsylvania’s antique primary where it is would be so John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Hillary Clinton can artificially inflate the perception of their support in the Commonwealth. The voters of Pennsylvania are screwed four ways ’till election Tuesday.
We can do our part in this year’s primary by declining to allow our municipalities to race our Earned Income or Personal Income Tax. [EIT or PIT] Without jacking these up, Act 1 won’t work. That was good for me to learn, because when it comes to taxation I can be persuaded to pay a little more for my borough, while I reflexively spurn all other tax increases. Now I know better, at least for this cycle.
Final note: A gentleman at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference gave me a reason I had not heard for why moving up the primary is a bad idea. He said it was already hard getting enough signatures for primary candidates to run in a Spring primary, and it would only get harder trying to get those signatures in the winter. Really? Well, last I checked Wyoming and Maine seem to manage. And New Hampshire has been first since 1952. Heck, if they keep having to move it up they may end up avoiding winter altogether.