Jennifer D. Wade Journal

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To Act or Not to Act

First of all, let me say that, according to my stats counter, my blog has had more than 200 hits today.  WTF???  My average for the past couple months is probably around 90 or 100.  What's going on?  Must have been that deeply insightful post about the woman who looks like Helen Mirren!!

Anyway, I'm facing a decision.  Next Tuesday is election day.  Sometime between now and then I will have to decide whether to vote Yes or No on Act 1.

Act 1 is a referendum on the ballot in just about every school district in Pennsylvania.  I believe only Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Scranton are exempt.  Basically, what Act 1 proposes to do is lessen the burden of school taxes on property owners by increasing income taxes.  Somewhere in the mix is all the money that Pennsylvania will get from slots, which will supposedly help finance the reduction in property taxes.  On Tuesday, voters will be asked to decide whether their particular school district should sign on to Act 1 or keep the tax system status quo.

HERE is the "non-legal interpretive statement" for my school district.  A "yes" vote would be in favor of getting rid of the 0.5% earned income tax and instituting a 1% personal income tax for an estimated $150 reduction in property taxes.  What I find interesting is that even if the voters reject Act 1, property taxes may still be lowered due to support (gambling money) from the state.

For a certain group of people (i.e. seniors on a fixed income who own their own homes), voting for Act 1 makes sense.  For another group of people (i.e. people who work but do not own a home), voting against Act 1 makes sense.

For people like me (i.e. people who work and own a home), it's a bit of a toss-up.  What you might gain in property tax reductions, you'll probably lose to the increased income tax.  I also suspect that the increased income tax may end up being the larger of the two numbers, so if I vote "yes" for Act 1, I'd actually be volunteering to increase my own tax burden.  And, since I don't have children in ANY school district, why would I want to give this school district more money than I have to?  Out of the goodness of my heart?

So, I guess I'm leaning toward "no" on Act 1.  Am I wrong?

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