Some good ideas we’d like to see become reality
State Rep. Garth Everett, a Muncy Republican who represents much of our area, recently took up a number of issues during a telephone town hall with area residents.
Among the issues he took up is one that’s high on the list of stuff everyone dislikes — property taxes.
Property tax reform would be a big help for senior citizens and others living on fixed incomes and who own homes. That’s been the case for years, but no real relief ever seems to come.
Now, House Bill 472 would allow voters to decide if a major public school building project may go forward when its costs exceed one third of the district’s yearly revenue.
We can think of more than one school project in this area that may have been impacted by this bill, which has the potential to rein in spending.
Another idea that we like even more would involve freezing the amount of real estate taxes for people once they turn 65.
That would cover the working life span of most people, and give those who work beyond 65 even more opportunity to continue building their nest egg before finally retiring.
That makes sense, given the fact that many people delay saving for retirement while raising a family or while working for lower wages earlier in life. In fact, we have long been told that the vast majority of Americans are not saving enough for retirement.
An October 2017 Government Accountability Office analysis found that the median retirement savings for those between the ages of 55 and 64 was $107,000, which would generate a $310 monthly payment. That’s likely not enough to live on, even when combined with Social Security, and particularly as inflation will continue to drive the cost of living throughout the course of a senior’s retirement years.
So freezing their property tax amounts would make sense. Retirees still would pay quite a bit, but now they would be able to at least see their rates remain steady and give them a fighting chance to stay in their homes in the final years of their lives.