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The property tax

Should local and county governments and public schools eliminate the use of earned income, occupation and per capita taxes by increasing real estate property taxes? Yes. It would lower tax collection expenses, make tax collection easier, and be fairer for taxpayers.

Pennsylvania has a regressive tax system where the tax burden falls mainly on the lower- and middle-income taxpayers, not on those with higher incomes. At the state level, the flat-rate personal income and sales taxes are examples.

At the local level, the per capita tax is an example of a regressive tax. However, the earned income tax is also regressive, but it is levied only on the working class. Both of these taxes are unfair.

In order for Pennsylvania to adopt a progressive taxation system such as a graduated income tax, a constitutional amendment would be necessary. Our surrounding states, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and West Virginia, have already done that.

Like it or not, the tax that is closest to being progressive is the property tax. Think about it. The owners of large estates pay higher property taxes than the owners of smaller parcels of land with smaller structures.

If property taxes were eliminated, the higher taxes on the larger estates would be shifted to working-class taxpayers unless property taxes were replaced by a progressive tax at the county and local levels of government, including public school districts.

In summary, the only tax in Pennsylvania that is close to being fair, based on the ability to pay (income) is the property tax, in my opinion.

David L. Faust

Selinsgrove

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