A fairer tax

For the record, I voted no on the minority-of-registered-voters-approved ballot referendum allowing the Pennsylvania General Assembly to enact legislation that would permit local school districts to exempt 100 percent of the assessed value of a residence from real estate taxation. Why did you vote against the ballot question?

School districts need tax money in order to operate, and Pennsylvania doesn’t have a fairer tax to replace real estate taxes. As a former Republican State Representative told me, a sales tax hurts the poor and a flat-rate personal income tax impacts hardest on the middle class.

Exempting residences from real estate taxation would be giving a huge tax cut to the wealthy. Plus, we don’t need to send more local tax money in the form of a State sales or personal income tax hike, or both, to Harrisburg.

Remember when the gas tax hike was used to pay the state police? Remember when the Corbett Administration cut $1 billion in school funding to the poorer rural school districts and increased aid to the wealthy districts? Do you want your tax money to support the private schools where the wealthy send their children?

And don’t expect the Republican-controlled State legislature to enact a constitutional amendment for voter approval that would amend the State’s Constitution permitting a graduated income tax, based on the ability to pay without deductions or exemptions, for school districts and local, county and state government.

A graduated income tax is what is needed to replace a real estate and other unfair taxes, including the earned income of workers only, excise, occupational, per capita, utilities and other hidden taxes.

By the way, our surrounding states already have a graduated income tax, which is a fairer tax.

David L. Faust