Must be something in the water. Talk of the Act 1 ballot question abounds! I blogged about it yesterday. GORT took his turn today, and it's the talk of Talkback 16.
The overwhelming sentiment of the opinions I've read seems to be "Just say no." I said I was leaning that way, and now I'm convinced.
First of all, I went back to the PAGE that links to a list of the questions for school districts in Luzerne County. Notice how Act 1 is also referred to as the "Taxpayer Relief Referendum?" Uh, huh. I suspect that's kind of like the Bush Administration's "Clean Skies Initiative." Whatever the name implies, the reality is the exact opposite.
Then, I took another look at the Wyoming Valley West "non-legal interpretive statement" and remembered why my initial thought about Act 1 was that the numbers just don't add up - at least not for me. It's because what Act 1 would allow the district to do is replace the current 0.5% Earned Income Tax with a 1.0% Personal Income Tax. So, not only would I be giving over more of my salary to the school district, but they will also get 1% of any interest, dividends, etc. that I earn! It certainly sounds like a bad deal for anyone who has a decent income, regardless of whether they also own property.
But, I worry that it's a bad deal that will pass. What scares me about Act 1 is that the people who traditionally vote (older folks) are the ones who should actually benefit from this. The people who will lose out are the ones who may think they're too busy with other things to vote, or who aren't paying attention because they don't have kids in school.
It is important for people to vote on this issue, and it is especially important to realize that ALL REGISTERED VOTERS - no matter what party they belong to - can vote for ballot questions, including Act 1.